James "Jim" Harlan Paschall, age 88, a resident of Houston, Texas for the past 60 years, died peacefully at home on Sunday, the 21st of October 2012.
Jim grew up in Calhoun, Georgia, attended Emory University and graduated from University of Georgia after his service in the US Navy as a field medic during WWll. He moved to Houston in 1953 and joined the insurance firm of Langham Langston & Dyer, where he was the office manager until he retired in 1977. In 1956 he met and married Sally Flowers, whom had recently moved to Houston from Findlay, Ohio with her parents, Sara and Fort Flowers. Jim's gregarious nature and skilled graciousness were greatly appreciated by Sally's parents as they entertained often in their homes. Sally and Jim were an incredible team, often traveling internationally with Sally's mother, but Paris and the South of France were their favorite destinations. Jim and Sally mutually enjoyed Decorative Arts, American furniture and decor, and any home tours within a five-hour radius of Houston. They also relished entertaining in their home for their dear, lifelong friends with savory meals from their longtime cook and dear friend, Cornelia. Jim was an incredibly warm and generous father to his only daughter, Sara, and Sally and he always loved having a houseful of kids at any and all hours through those years. Jim has enjoyed the lifetime relationships that he had with this generation that he had watched grow and mature and was genuinely thrilled when he would bump into them in these recent years, always remembering their name and often with an old story recalled.
From in the late 70's until 1989, Sally and he moved fulltime to their weekend home in Simonton, Texas and enjoyed scooting around on the country roads, riding their fleet of mopeds, eating at the Valley Lodge Club or the local cafes. For 25 years, they enjoyed summers in their home in Vail, Colorado and in the 90's, they also found a winter home in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Jim was a longtime "friend of Bill" and one of his proudest accomplishments was his 22 years of sobriety. His friends in the program were a major support network for him when his dear Sally died in 1999. Upon Sally's death, Jim revived his travel bug; often participating in MFAH, UGA, and KUHF sponsored cultural trips. These trips brought him tremendous pleasure and he always came home with new friends from these junkets abroad.
Jim was a member of River Oaks Country Club for almost 60 years. He was very dedicated to St. John the Divine for the better part of his years in Houston. He enjoyed his patronship with Museum of Fine Art – Houston and the Contemporary Arts Museum – Houston.
In 1989 and 1992, his life took a most joyful turn upon the births of his adored grandsons, George and Henry Dodd. Throughout the boys' youth one of his greatest pleasures was attending their various games and activities, often sitting on plank bleachers in tepid drizzle, scorching heat, or frosty wind until the final second on the clock. He knew and engaged all of their friends and their friends' parents, many whom he had watched grow up with his daughter. George and Henry amused Jim to the very fullest; he took great interest in and had a very clear understanding of who his grandsons are, as people. He was so proud of their accomplishments and the men that they are becoming.
In 2003 Sara and Keith Spickelmier married and Jim felt that his life had been deeply enriched by his new son-in-law. Keith and he developed a strong relationship and enhanced each other's life, holding tremendous respect and affection for each other.
Jim had a keen eye for design and architectural details. His favorite activity in the last decades was to go on an "airing" in the passenger seat, slowly cruising his neighborhood, pointing out houses, recalling the specific architects, the successful aesthetic, and recalling with perfect detail, the different owners of the homes since they had been built in the last 75 years. In his 88 years, Jim lived and loved life to it's fullest with tremendous grace. Those that he touched will miss his unwavering positive attitude, twinkling smile, warm heart, rational grip on life, wise words, and sharp wit. He found humor and joy in the smallest places.
Jim is predeceased by his wife, Sally Flowers Paschall; his parents, Judge James Heddleston Paschall and Milda McKinney Harbin; and sister, Milda Ann Paschall. He is survived by his daughter, Sara Paschall Dodd-Spickelmier, and her husband, Keith Spickelmier; his grandsons, George Harlan Dodd and Henry Fort Dodd; his former son-in-law, Chad Dodd; and 11 nieces and nephews, Julia Flowers, Richard Flowers, Lynn Flowers Carlton, Fort Flowers, Joseph Flowers, Katherine Murray Henderson, John Murray, Sara Murray Beall, Jane Murray Davis, Patty Foster Sullivan, Mark Foster, and their spouses and children. He deeply loved and is survived by his longtime closest friends, Tas Thornhill, Judy and Jimmy Britton, Ida and Tommy Moran, Nancy Japhet, Mary Bain Pearson, Mimi McDugald, Anne Farish, and Jim Peu, and each of their children and grandchildren. At 88, he had lost quite a few friends that he missed terribly, as he was lamenting in his final week. We know that he's with them now and having a glorious time.
Jim's family wishes to extend deepest appreciation for those that did so much for him. Their kindness was boundless: Ana Stella Orellana, Edith Washington, Mark and Greta Hall, Jeff Mc, and the entire staff at Inwood Manor.
The memorial service, in celebration of Jim's life, is to be conducted at two o'clock this afternoon, Wednesday, the 24th of October, at The Church of St. John the Divine, 2450 River Oaks Boulevard in Houston, where the Rev. Dr. Laurens A. Hall, Rector, is to officiate.
Immediately following this afternoon's service, all are invited to greet the family during a reception to be held at a venue announced at the service.
In lieu of customary remembrances, contributions in Mr. Paschall's memory may be directed to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, P.O. Box 6826, Houston, TX, 77265-6826; the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 5216 Montrose Blvd., Houston TX, 77006; or to the Council on Alcohol and Drugs - Houston, P.O. Box 2768, Houston, TX, 77252-2768.