James Pinckney Whitson, 78, of Talladega, AL passed away on November 24, 2023, of heart failure. James, known as “Jim”, was a beloved husband, father, and grandfather.
Jim received his AB in Economics at Davidson College in 1966 while registered in the Reserved Officer Training Program. After graduation, Jim served as a Captain in the United States Army’s 3 D Infantry Division, stationed in Würzburg, Germany from 1966 to 1969. While in Germany, Jim met and married. his beloved wife, Josiane, of 51 years. Jim and Josi then returned to the US where Jim attended Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration earning an MBA with Distinction. Upon Jim’s graduation from Harvard, they relocated to Charlotte, NC where Jim was employed by Arthur Andersen & Co and where he and Josi started their family. After eight years with Arthur Anderson, Jim moved on to join ITT Europe, Inc. in Brussels, Belgium as Director, Tax Operations. While in Brussels, Jim and the family found great joy in reconnecting with Josi’s family, traveling all over Europe and beyond, enjoying many fine meals, and being heavily involved in scouting and youth soccer. In 1985, Jim completed his assignment in Brussels and was transferred to ITT World Headquarters in New York City, where he rose to Vice President and Director of Taxes. In 1998, Jim accepted the position of Chief Tax Officer of Delphi Automotive Systems in Troy, MI and relocated to Oakland, MI where he and Josi. lived until they moved to Talladega in 2016.
Jim loved entertaining, cooking and eating fine food, enjoying great wines, and traveling far and wide. He especially loved spending time with his friends and family over a home cooked meal. Jim had a fierce intellect and a voracious appetite for learning on any subject and was a wealth of knowledge on a wide range of topics. Throughout his life, Jim loved to lend his time, talents, and knowledge to countless causes, individuals, and organizations. Even after a serious illness in 2021, Jim stayed engaged as head of Talladega’s Industrial Board and Treasurer of the Talladega Main Street non-profit organization.
He is preceded in death by his parents J. Pinckney Whitson and Sarah Totherow Whitson, stepfather J. Carson (Kit) Whitson, and his beloved wife Josiane Vanlerberghe Whitson. He is survived by his son John (Katy) Whitson of Birmingham, AL and his grandchildren Garrett Whitson and Sophie Whitson. A visitation will be held at the Whitson residence in Talladega on Friday, December 1, 2023, from 10:00 to 11:30. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jim’s memory to Talladega First, Inc. – Friends of the Ritz in support of the Historic Ritz Theatre, an organization which he and Josi had supported wholeheartedly.