Carson, James

CARSON, Jr., James Bayard

Age 82, died peacefully on October 31, 2021, at Emory University Hospital with his family at his side. Jim had waged a successful war against CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia) for over twelve years, but he lost this final battle after changes in his disease became more than his body could overcome.

The son of Lila Boswell Carson and James Bayard Carson, Jim was born in Atlanta, GA, on January 25, 1939, and lived all but two years of his life in the city. He attended Morningside Elementary School and Grady and Northside High Schools, graduating as valedictorian. He went on to Emory University, where he earned a BBA degree with highest distinction in 1961 and an MBA from Harvard University in 1964.

Jim began his business career with Trust Company of Georgia, now Truist, in 1964. In 1969, he joined what would become Carter & Associates as Chief Financial Officer, and ultimately rose to the position of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, helping the company become the Southeast's largest commercial real estate brokerage during his tenure.

After graduating from Emory, Jim married Anne Holden, also an Emory graduate and his best friend from the time they were 16. They were married for 60 years and raised three children together. Theirs was a life of love, faith, companionship, hospitality, travel, dachshunds, and nightly "Jeopardy." Jim was almost as big a Braves fan as Anne, to the extreme that they "watched" the games together via the phone when Jim was out of town during games. This habit was formed at the time of the 1995 World Series win by the Braves. After his retirement he was frequently found at dog shows all over the country, as he was very supportive of Anne's hobby of breeding and showing standard longhaired dachshunds. He even finished quite a few show champions himself and belonged to the Dachshund Club of Metropolitan Atlanta, The Dachshund Club of America, and the Atlanta Kennel Club. It would be hard to find a couple more bonded than Anne and Jim. His first concern was always for her and their family, and they relished their children's activities and rejoiced in the arrival of grandchildren in recent years. They always enjoyed furnishing and "fixing up" new homes, starting with their first apartment in Atlanta and later building two homes in Atlanta and enjoying second homes at Breckenridge, CO, and Lake Burton, GA.

Jim became a member of Trinity Presbyterian Church in 1956 and was a faithful, active member for 65 years. He served several terms as an elder and later as a member of the Board of Trustees, finishing this service as Chairman of the Trustees. He was active on the Finance Committee and stayed involved until his death. Jim particularly enjoyed the music, never missing the special performances, as he was especially fond of the organ and choral offerings.

Jim's greatest legacy. after his family, is Trinity School, as he was the founding Chairman of the Board when the school became independent in 1974 and served subsequent terms until 2016. Bill Jordan, current board chair, wrote, "Without his involvement, leadership, and sacrifices, Trinity School would likely not even be in existence." George Overend, former chair, commented, "He touched a lot of organizations, but in my opinion, none benefited as much from his talents and devotion as Trinity School." He would be honored to hear these comments.

Although Jim had graduated from Emory, his real dedication to the University became evident as an alumnus. In 1990 he was elected a Trustee, in which position he lent his expertise to the board's Finance and Investment Committees, serving as chair of Finance and as vice chair of Investment. After his retirement from active board status in 2009, he expanded his service as a trustee emeritus counselor to the Academic Affairs and Real Estate, Buildings, and Grounds Committees. In addition to his service as an Emory trustee, Jim served on the Emory Board of Visitors and on the Dean's Advisory Council of Goizueta Business School. In 1991 he received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Emory Business School Association and Emory Business School Club of Atlanta. In 2000 he was awarded the Emory Medal, the highest honor bestowed upon Emory alumni, an honor awarded to Anne at the same time. They were the first couple to receive this award simultaneously.

Those who knew Jim will not forget his impact on the city and state he loved. Jim was a member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 1973. He was active in many civic organizations, including Central Atlanta Progress Executive Committee, Atlanta Business Roundtable, Atlanta Regional Commission, Georgia State Chamber of Commerce President's Council, and the Rotary Club of Atlanta. Jim served on the Carter Center Board of Counselors and the Board of Advisors of Families First. He chaired the New Georgia Commission Capital Construction Task Force and was a member of the Atlanta Board of Realtors and the Regional Leadership Forum. Jim was also appointed by Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to serve on his Capital Asset Management Advisory Council. Jim loved music and gardening, facts borne out by his years on the executive committee of the Southeastern Flower Show and membership in Emory Friends of Music.

Jim is survived by his wife of 60 years, Anne Holden Carson, and children James Bayard Carson III of Hanceville, AL, Gerry Holden Carson and his wife Ashley of Atlanta, and Catherine Carson Hayes and her husband Michael of Nashville, TN. His beloved grandsons are Gerry Holden Carson, Jr., Kent Cassell Carson, Michael Webster Hayes, Jr., and Carson Bayard Hayes. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Frances Holden Fite and her husband John, nieces Caren Steadman Farrow of Georgetown, SC, Linda Steadman Fraser of Hilton Head, SC., and Rebecca Ridgeway Fite and her husband Roger Walker of Atlanta. Nephew John Davie Fite and his wife Megan McRainey of Decatur also survive. Jim was predeceased by his sister Carol Carson Steadman and her husband Charles Elliott Steadman.

Jim will be remembered kindly as a gentleman. He will be sorely missed by family and friends.

The family wishes to thank Dr. Leonard Thomas Heffner of the Winship Cancer Center for years of wonderful care of and friendship to Jim and the family, and Drs. Aaron Trammell and Krysta Frye for profoundly good care for Jim and sensitivity and respect for the family during Jim's final week at the Emory Respiratory Intensive Care Unit. The family also wishes to thank Scheheara Lamin and Jacque Ximenz, loyal friends who help them with their home and dogs.

A memorial service will be held Monday, November 8, at 11:00 AM at Trinity Presbyterian Church. Friends are invited to the service and to a reception following at the church. Private interment will take place before the service.

Those wishing to make donations in Jim's memory might consider Trinity School, 4301 Northside Pkwy NW, Atlanta, GA 30327; Trinity Presbyterian Church, 3003 Howell Mill Rd., Atlanta, GA, 30327; Emory Winship Cancer Center, 1365 Clifton Rd Building C, Atlanta, GA 30322; or a charity of choice.

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