James Webb Kiser died peacefully at home with his wife Nancy by his side on Thursday, May 7, 2015, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Though the disease robbed him of his keen mind, it never took away his gentle spirit.
Jim was born August 16, 1934 in Belmont, North Carolina, to Walter Webb Kiser and Lottie Bumgarner Kiser. He was a 1952 graduate of the old Harding High School, where he was President of the Student Body and was a three sport athlete; a 1956 graduate of Davidson College, where he was co-captain of the Wildcats baseball team.
He was a 1959 graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Law, where he was Editor in Chief of the Law Review, a member of the Order of the Coif and received his Juris Doctorate with honors. Jim served three years at the Pentagon as a Captain in The Judge Advocate General’s Corp of the U.S. Army.
It was during his service in Washington, DC that he met the love of his life, Nancy Howard, and they were married in Arlington, VA on February 9, 1963.
After his military service, Jim returned to Charlotte to practice law. He was Charlotte City Attorney, a job he loved, until 1968 when he joined North Carolina National Bank as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary.
He was proud of the role he played in helping his talented colleagues build the bank into one of the largest financial institutions in the country, first as Nations Bank, and finally as Bank of America, where he retired in 2001 as Executive Vice President, Corporate Secretary and counsel to the Board of Directors.
Jim always felt it an honor to have worked with talented colleagues and to have served three wonderful leaders, Addison Reese, Thomas Storrs and Hugh McColl. Jim was an active member of the Mecklenburg County Bar and the North Carolina State Bar.
He was the inaugural President of the Corporate Counsel Section of the North Carolina State Bar, the President of the Southeast Chapter of the American Society of Corporate Secretaries and a member of that organization’s national board.
Jim was a member of Providence United Methodist Church for over 50 years, where he served as Chairman of the Administrative Board. He sang in the choir and taught Sunday school for many years.
He enjoyed his time serving local organizations, including the boards of Charlotte Latin School and the Davidson Athletic Foundation, and was a recipient of the Davidson Alumni Service Award.
He was also a dedicated member of the Charlotte Rotary Club. Some of his happiest and most cherished times were playing golf with his friends at Charlotte Country Club and on golf trips to Scotland and Ireland.
He had a deep and abiding love for Davidson College and was was a devoted supporter and fan of Davidson and UNC athletics, particularly their basketball teams. Though generally a kind natured and reserved man, known for his subtle and dry wit, he would not hesitate to unleash his powerful and booming voice to cheer on his beloved Wildcats or Tar Heels.
Jim took great joy in watching his three sons play sports, though he most enjoyed the simple pleasure of shooting baskets or throwing a baseball or football with his boys.
Jim is survived by his wife of 52 years, Nancy Howard Kiser; his three sons, Kenneth Webb Kiser of Asheville, Dr. Robert Howard Kiser and wife Karen of Fort Collins, CO, and James Leland Kiser and wife Elizabeth of Charlotte.
He is also survived by his sister, Sylvia Kiser Greene, of Hamlet, NC, his brother Larry Kiser and wife Willena Kiser of Charlotte, and his many cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his sister Dr. Gail Kiser and his brother-in-law John Greene. He adored his four wonderful grandchildren, Mary Cate, Evan, Colin, and Webb, and they, and their friends, adored him back.
The Kiser family would like to thank the staff at The Ivey for the compassion and friendship they bestowed on Jim and his family these many years; the wonderful doctors nurses and staff at Hospice and Palliative Care, Charlotte Region; the extraordinary care givers from Compassionate Care who attended to Jim and supported Nancy over the last fifteen months, allowing Jim to remain at home to the end; and Jim Lawton, an extraordinary caregiver, who has become, and will always remain, a beloved member of the Kiser family – words are inadequate to express our gratitude.
A service to celebrate Jim’s life will be held at 2:00 PM on Thursday, May 14, 2015, at Providence United Methodist Church, 2810 Providence Road, Charlotte, NC. Visitation will take place in the church atrium immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Davidson College, The Ivey, the UNC School of Law Class of 1959 Scholarship, or Hospice and Palliative Care, Charlotte Region. Robertson Funeral and Cremation Service is serving the family. www.throbertson.com. Funeral Home.