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James True '97 September 2, 2021 10:00 AM updated: September 2, 2021 11:41 AM

James Lester True
May 23, 1940 - August 26, 2021

James (Jim) Lester True passed away Aug. 26 in Columbia, Missouri. Born May 23, 1940, in Waxahachie, Texas, to Fay and Lester True, Jim had a lasting impact on those who knew him. Highly intelligent, he always engaged friends in interesting and stimulating conversation. He had strong religious convictions that guided him throughout his life.

Jim attended public school in Sweet Water, Texas, where he graduated from high school. During his college years at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas, he served as a pastor at a small Methodist church near Abilene. He was involved in many campus activities and a member of Ko Sari Men’s Social Club.

After his marriage to Bobbie Minnette Lemons in October, 1962, he served in the Air Force for 30 years. He was stationed at bases in Delaware, Guam, California, the Azores, Alabama, Illinois and ended his military career at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio. During the Vietnam War, Jim was a navigator on rescue missions flying in and out of war zones in Southeast Asia.

After retiring from the military, Jim and family moved to College Station, Texas, where he earned a Ph.D. in political science from Texas A&M University. Afterwards, for 12 years, he taught at Lamar University where he held the Jack Brooks Endowed Chair of Government and Public Service. Upon retirement, he and Bobbie enjoyed being of service to the First United Methodist Church in Beaumont and spending time with their grandchildren who were the light of their lives.

Jim was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Bobbie, his parents and brothers David and Wayne True. Survivors include his children and grandchildren: daughter Cynthia Diane True (Luther Sonny Sanders) and children Royal and Josephine Sanders of Columbia; and son James Bruce True (Michelle True) and daughters Kaylee and Alexis True of Campbell, California. He is also survived by his sisters-in-law, brother-in-law and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service honoring Jim is planned for a later date in Texas. In lieu of flowers, please make a memorial contribution to the Parkinson’s Foundation

Arrangements are under the direction of Parker-Millard Funeral Service & Crematory, 12 East Ash Street, Columbia, MO 65203 (573) 449-4153. Condolences may be left online for the family at

© Millard Family Chapels, Inc.

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