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James "Jim" Webb Sr. '43 June 4, 2020 4:16 PM updated: June 4, 2020 4:26 PM

James Robert Webb Sr.
April 7, 1922 - May 18, 2020

James Robert Webb, Sr., age 98, passed away Monday, May 18, 2020 in Las Cruces, NM. He was born in Haskell, Texas, April 7, 1922, the son of Oran Ewart Webb and Stella Victoria (Stewart) Webb. He graduated from Haskell High School in 1939 and attended Texas A&M University for 2 years, where he played in the Aggie Band. World War II interrupted his college career and Jim served in the Pacific Theatre, achieving the rank of First Sergeant with the 158th Regimental Combat Team, which fought in New Guinea and the Philippine Islands before entering Japan as part of the post-war forces. He had 217 consecutive days of combat while fighting in the Pacific during the war.

In 1948, he moved to Brownsville, Texas, where he worked for Eugene B. Smith Cotton Company as the Matamoros office manager. He married Shirley Diane Douglas on October 16, 1952, in Brownsville.

After several years with Smith and Company, he had his own farm operation and then became General Manager of the Brownsville Irrigation and Drainage District in 1965. He served in that capacity for 30 years. During that time, he served as a member of the Texas Citrus Mutual Board of Directors, as President of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Water District Managers’ Association and as President of the Cameron County Farm Bureau. In 1973, he was recipient of the Southmost Soil and Water Conservation District’s Agri-Business Award.

He was a member of the Veterans County Committee for Cameron County for a number of years and actively participated in the Lower Rio Grande Valley Water Quality Advisory Committee and the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce Water Committee. He was instrumental in the creation of the Texas Water Conservation Association Risk Management Fund and served on the Board of Trustees for that organization for 7 years.

On December 31, 1994, he retired as manager of the water district in Brownsville. He and his wife moved to Kerrville, Texas. He was a member of First United Methodist Church of Kerrville, where he served as the church’s webmaster. He also created and maintained the webpage for the Bushmaster’s 158th Regimental Combat Team, and for the Yoakum County, Texas genealogy webpage with the TXGenWeb Project.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley Webb and by his son, James Robert (Bob) Webb Jr. He is survived by his daughter, Mary Nelle Plowman of Little Rock, AR; his daughter, Vicki Webb Hunter and her husband, Robert of Las Cruces, NM. He is also survived by his sister, Mary Lou Gilleland of Haskell, TX, 7 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren in Texas, New Mexico, and Arkansas.

Graveside services will be held at 10 AM, Friday May 22, 2020 at Garden of Memories Cemetery.

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