Dr. James D. Mullins
June 27, 1942 – November 13, 2020
Dr. James D. Mullins, age 78, of Corpus Christi, Texas passed away on Friday, November 13, 2020. James was born June 27, 1942 in Tyler, Texas to James N. Mullins and Edda Lee Dale.
He attended the University of Texas and University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, graduating in the medical class of 1968.
He served in the U S Air Force at Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio from 1968 to 1980. He married Judy Hebert, his wife of 52 years on March 30, 1968. James joined the pathology group of Dr. Joe Lewis at Spohn Hospital in 1980, where he worked and taught in the laboratory until October, 2020.
James, known to his friends as Butch, will always be remembered for his dedication to his career in pathology, his wealth of knowledge of pathology, and his love of teaching. He enjoyed travel and hiking. He visited and photographed 48 United States National Parks and many national monuments and state parks. He was a loving husband, father, and grandfather.
James is preceded in death by his parents, his sister Ann Smith, his four grandparents of Tyler, Texas, and an aunt and four uncles.
James is survived by his wife, Dr. Judith Mullins, two sons, John (Laura) Mullins of Sugarland, Texas, and Jimmy Mullins of Fort Worth, Texas; five grandchildren, Miranda, Adan, Tristan, Trevor, and Matthew; a brother Pat (Patricia) Mullins of Pasadena, Texas; a niece Corey Poole; a nephew Phillip Mullins; cousins Kathy Rankin and Kay Hunter; and many friends and colleagues.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at: www.CageMillsFuneralDirectors.com for the Mullins family.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Dr. James D. Mullins
November 29, 2020
So sorry to hear about your loss Dr. (Judy) Mullins - sending prayers for strength during your time of grieving. Dr. (Butch) Mullins was such a kind and caring person. I remember the Christmas office parties at your home and how he always asked about my family and remembered things I had shared in previous visits. It was also very obvious how much he loved and cared for you. I know he will be deeply missed - hang on to all the good memories you all created.
November 26, 2020
I had the great privilege of working with Dr Mullins for 16 years. He was one of the hardest working & most knowledgeable pathologist around. He could be a bit gruff at times but that was his style, you knew to never take it personally. He would usually come bursting through the histology lab calling out one of our names. If someone else tried to help him he’d gently, but in his gruff way blow them off. He was on a mission. That’s how he approached his work. It was a mission, every case he would see through. Another great memory that always made me chuckle was when I had to take afternoon cases to their drop off point in the conference room. I’d walk in place the slides in their designated spot & let the pathologists know slides were here. Depending on his mood he’d yell from his office, “ what do you have there?” or “leave that right there!”. “Yes sir!”, I’d reply back. Next thing I knew he’d be out of that chair, standing next to me & fumbling through the cases grumbling as he did so.
He will be dearly missed.
guiyuan (Gwen) Li
November 26, 2020
I am the last addition to Dr. James "Butch" Dale Mullins' best friend list and am very lucky to have known him for the last two years, professionally and personally.
Butch was the best pathologist I have ever known, excelling across the board of anatomical and clinical pathology which no one would expect from a community practice—or even in large academic centers because they are more subspecialty-bound. He read every volume of "The New England Journal of Medicine," "The American Journal of Surgical Pathology" and "The American Journal of Clinical Pathology" religiously, tore out the worthy studies, cataloged them in his file cabinet, and slowly, awkwardly, at his beaten-up desk and metal chair, typed the summaries into powerpoint, which he called his "peripheral brain." The only journals left in his home are the ones that arrived after he got sick. He checked the Johns Hopkins Surgical Pathology Unknown Conference website regularly and learned some new discoveries before they became widely practiced. He called every expert pathologist he sent consultation cases to discuss what he thought about the diagnosis—most of the time, he was right. By doing that, he knew who were the real experts and who just happened to be at the right place at the right time...
Butch always stayed true to himself. He was loyal, witty with no filter, short-tempered and grumpy, but forever rooting for the underdog. He quizzed me whenever he had a chance, invited my family over for Christmas and to his favorite restaurants. He tipped at least 40% while only ever wanting two pairs of work shoes. He told his good friend to put a price sticker on his new, luxury car...
In his own words, Butch "had a good run", "lucky to have Judy" and “John and Jimmy are good boys."
Now, he would say, “Where is that smile?" and "stop being philosophical." After all, "What are you going to do about it?"
The picture was his idea for the Three Musketeers. I miss him dearly.
Guiyuan “Gwen” Li, CC, TX
November 25, 2020
Butch was a contemporary of mine in the Corpus Christi medical community. I remember Butch as the pathologist I would always go to when the path diagnosis was most critical in a patients eventual outcome. He was a true “clinical” pathologist!
Ann Marie Souchick
November 24, 2020
I have had the privilege of working beside Butch in pathology for the past 22 years. He was a brilliant pathologist with a deep understanding of the pathologist’s role in the management of cancer patients and overall patient care.
I met Butch on my interview for pathologist at Spohn hospital. He volunteered to drive me to my next interview. He had an old beat up Mustang with the passenger seat occupied by numerous pathology articles that needed to be moved. As I asked questions about the job, I suddenly felt the need to ask, “Do you smell gasoline?” He just said, “ Roll down the windows, it will be OK. “ At a later interview with Dr Joe Lewis, I asked about the Mustang. He laughed and shared this story. Joe needed to borrow Butch’s car to do a frozen section at the South hospital and left it parked in front of the building, unlocked, with the windows down and the key in the ignition to see if someone would drive away with it. But alas, the car was still there after he finished the frozen section. This was Butch’s nature, unpretentious and focused on pathology. He was a natural teacher and eagerly shared his knowledge with everyone. He even taught the experts a thing or two. He was sometimes cantankerous, but quick to make amends when he realized he was wrong.
Butch was a devoted family man with many extracurricular hobbies, an infatuation with national parks and an avid sympathy for underdogs.
Despite his brilliance, he was human and had a few frailties. Butch would ask me a dozen times a day, “What time is it?”, “What is the date?,” “Where are my glasses?”, and my favorite, “How do you spell ______? “ What I wouldn’t give now to hear those requests again!
Butch touched so many lives and will be dearly missed. My sincere condolences to the family, Judy, Jimmy and John.
Ann Marie Souchick MD
R. Michael Dulaney
November 23, 2020
My condolences to Judy, children and family.Jim and Judy were good friends and peers in the medical family in Corpus Christi.
November 17, 2020
Dr. Mullins was one of the most amazing people I have ever "met" although we never met in person! For the past seven years, I developed a very special professional and personal relationship with Dr. Mullins as he sent cases to my lab. I had the most enjoyable phone conversations with him and came to realize what an incredibly knowledgeable pathologist and wonderful human being he was! we talked about me visiting his lab this year but the pandemic ruined my plans to finally meet him face to face. I will miss him so much and miss his phone calls and his knowledge and the way he made me laugh! DR. Mullins and his family are in my thoughts and my prayers and I pray to god to bless him and give his family peace and comfort .
Radwa ElBehery, Phoenix, AZ
W. Kenneth Linville, M.D.
November 17, 2020
Dr. Butch Mullins was a superb surgical pathologist and truly cared about patients. He maintained a high standard of practice and could be considered the father of modern pathology in Corpus Christi. He constantly studied the surgical pathology literature and wove his knowledge into everyday community hospital practice. His high standards helped his colleagues, including me, be better doctors. Butch Mullins was a true character and cannot be replaced. I miss him already.