James Shay

James Charles Shay

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James “Jim” Charles Shay, age 71, passed away on July, 10, 2020, in Houston. Jim never met a stranger. He was an unforgettable, charismatic charmer to anyone lucky enough to know him.

Jim was born on July 13, 1948 in Corsicana, Texas to Lesley Earl Owens and Glenn Irene Cowan, and later adopted by stepfather Vincent Shay. He graduated from South Houston High School and attended Stephen F Austin State University where he joined Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity. He then transferred to The University of Texas at Austin and earned his Bachelor of Journalism degree in 1970. Jim joined the Texas National Guard and served in the 71st Airborne infantry brigade for six years. He married his first wife, Joy-Dawn Baza, and their son was born.

Jim loved many things – fishing on the Texas coast, cold beer, Texas Longhorns, cooking brisket, single malt scotch, RV camping, restoring his mustang – but most of all he loved his family. Jim met his second wife, Carol Bennie, in 1976 and it was love at first sight. They were married for 40 years and added two more children to the family. Jim was a wonderful father and role model. He was extremely proud of Tracy, Brenna, and Mack.

Jim worked in the Austin advertising industry for over 30 years. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to start several ad agencies and a printing company. Following retirement, he emerged as a true renaissance man earning his EMT certification and Master Captain’s License, becoming a tour guide, studying the harmonica and blues guitar, running marathons, volunteering as a state park host, and perfecting his golf swing.

Jim’s life was a great story with a plot twist at the end. His life was shortened by a rare disease that affected his heart. It was devastating news for someone with a heart as big as Jim’s. Jim’s family would like to thank Dr. Kunjan Bhatt and his staff at Austin Heart for their support and guidance through this journey.

Jim was predeceased by his parents and brother Patrick William Shay. Jim is survived by his wife Carol, his sons Tracy James Shay (Tomoko) and Mack Andrew Shay, daughter Brenna Glenn Shay, grandchildren Kenichi Shay and Eri Shay, and brother Michael Thomas Shay (Beverly June). A celebration of Jim’s life will be held at a later date.
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Joy-Dawn & James Colburn

Posted at 03:19pm
Remembering you and Jim in our minds and in our hearts.

3 trees were planted in the memory of James Shay

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Terence Bandoian

Posted at 10:39pm
Jim was a good man. He will be remembered and missed.

Marynelle Davis

Posted at 07:07pm
Carol, I’m so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. Please know that all of us here in Austin will miss him and that we are sending our prayers for you and your family.

Lisa Ottenbacher

Posted at 11:27pm
So sorry to hear this news. Jim was such a sweet and fun man, always making people laugh and smile. Have very fond memories of working with him at GSD&M back in the 70's. My heart goes out to Carol and his children.

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 08:20am
Carol, Our hearts and prayers are with you and your family. What beautiful adventures and memories you have to treasure.
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