James "Jim" Work
August 9, 1926 – July 14, 2020
James “Jim” Work, went to be with his Lord on July 14th, 2020 in Katy, Tx.
Jim was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Arlene Hall Work in 2015 and his oldest son, Robert Clifton Work in 1997. He is survived by his son James Timothy Work of Katy, Texas and his four children, Meredyth Richter and her husband Ryan and their daughters Makenzie and Madison of Pleasanton, Texas, Adam Work and his wife Valarie and children, Kyra, Neela, Adelyn and Emrick of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Nathan Work of Cypress, Texas and Spencer Work and son, Magnus and his wife Sierra of Fort Worth, Texas, daughter Garnett Payne and her husband Charlie and daughter Morgan, of Frisco, Colorado, daughter-in-law Sandra Work of Chandler, Arizona and her two daughters, Lisa of Brooklyn, NY and Crystal of Chandler, Arizona.
Jim was born August 9, 1926 in Tyrone, PA and moved to Virginia in 1931. He graduated from Covington, VA High School, enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1944, and after basic training went to the European Theater for a year and a half. He returned and enrolled in Virginia Military Institute. He graduated in 1950 with a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and a commission as 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Army Reserves.
After college he met Arlene Hall in High Point, N.C. while he was working for an industrial electrical contractor. They were married at Roxboro, NC on March 31, 1951. Most of his electrical engineering career was with the Western Electric Company in Burlington and Greensboro, NC and in Huntington Beach, CA in anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense systems. He also spent four years with the Babcock & Wilcox Co’s Atomic Energy Division in Lynchburg, VA and Idaho Falls, ID. In 1976 he was transferred from Western Electric to Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. and later retired in 1979.
Jim was a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia and Texas and was active in the two principal electrical and electronic engineering organizations, AIEE and IEEE. He was active in the U.S. Army reserves since WWII days and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. Jim’s God, family and country were always very important to him. He was a member and Elder in the Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church in Houston. Since retirement from business, he was an active volunteer in many different ministries at the church, including the Furniture ministry, teaching Sunday school to young children, the AIDS ministry, and mobile unit, the truck that sold low cost goods on the east side of Houston. He continued to deliver Meals on Wheels in Katy, after Arlene was unable to join him for almost 20 years. For many years, he played a supporting role to Arlene’s service with Christian Women’s Club, Church Circle, Nottingham Women’s Club and other groups as a host and administrative assistant. He explored turning his passion for art into a second career and enjoyed special notoriety in 2005 when a collection of his German paintings was displayed at the George Bush Library in College Station, Texas. Portions of the collection of paintings have since been donated to the George Marshall Library in Lexington, Virginia and may be displayed again in association with an anniversary of the Marshall Plan.
In his later years, Jim was the primary caregiver for Arlene, a role he cherished rather than complained about. Just prior to joining the Lord, Arlene ensured Jim was settled in a safe environment, loved and cared for at Colonial Oaks. In his final years, Jim participated in daily exercise classes with the other residents and bible studies (he read the entire bible two times). He was most proud of his very personal ministry, Christian themed door drawings that he posted on the door to his apartment later before decorating his room.
After reviewing this obituary with Jim in November 2018, he added a footnote: “The bad things have been omitted : ) “
Family and friends will gather and celebrate this wonderful man's life during a memorial service at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, October 9, 2020, in the chapel of Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church, 11612 Memorial Drive in Houston, 77024, (713) 782-1710. Graveside services will follow at Memorial Oaks Cemetery, 13001 Katy Freeway in Houston, where members of the U.S. Army Honor Guard will render military honors.
Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church
Memorial Oaks Cemetery