James Preston

March 21, 2016

James Young Preston CHARLOTTE - James Young Preston, of Charlotte, NC, died on March 21, 2016, at the age of 78. Jim was born in Atlanta, Georgia on September 21, 1937. He was the son of James William Preston and Mary Lou Young Preston. The family moved to Charlotte in 1949. Jim attended the Charlotte-Mecklenburg public schools, graduating from Myers Park in 1954. He attended the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. As an undergraduate, Jim was a member of Phi Eta Sigma honor society and Phi Beta Kappa, majoring in English, and was a member and president of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. Upon graduation, he attended the University's law school, graduating in 1961 with a degree of Doctor of Jurisprudence with high honors; was a member of the Order of the Coif and was Editor in Chief of the North Carolina Law Review. As an undergraduate, Jim met and fell in love with Libby Gregory of Halifax, NC. They married in 1959. They celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary shortly before Libby's death in June of 2012. Jim and Libby are survived by their three children: Betsy P. Carr and her husband, Ray; Mary Lane P. Lennon, and her husband, Tom; and James Brenton Preston and his wife, Deborah; six grandchildren: Erin Hlasney and her husband, Paul, James Carr and his wife, Ashley; Preston Lennon and his financee, Rachel Harris; Mary Elizabeth Lennon; Maggie and Eben Preston; and three great-grandsons: Paul and Adam Hlasney and Brook Carr. Jim's children remember all of the love, the music and the laughter that Jim brought into their lives. Jim was a competitor. He could play a mean game of Hearts, game of Bocce on the beach and a set of tennis with the best of them. He loved family beach trips and traveling in general. He had a beautiful voice and loved singing hymns and Kris Kristofferson songs. One of the last things he did before he died was to lead his children in a round of "Me and Bobby McGee." Jim was a great friend and a great community leader. Jim practiced law in Charlotte with the Grier, Parker, Poe and Thompson law firm and its successors from 1961 until his retirement in 2004 and continued thereafter in an Of Council relationship until 2012. During his professional career, he was active in legal professional activities, serving as a Councillor and then president of the North Carolina State Bar, as a member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association and on the executive committee of the National Conference of Bar Associations. Jim was also interested in civic and charitable activities serving at various times on the boards of the Charlotte Opera, Community School of the Arts (Chair), the Arts and Science Council (Chair), Charlotte Ballet (Vice Chair), The Greater Charlotte Cultural Trust (Chair), the Echo Foundation, the North Carolina Humanities Council and Wildacres Retreat and the Wildacres Leadership Initiative (Chair). In 2008, Jim was inducted in the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina's highest civilian honorary, for service to the state. In 2009, he was recognized by the UNC Law School as a Distinguished Alumnus. At the time of his death, Mr. Preston was Mayor of Southminster Retirement Community. Jim made a special point to express his love and gratitude for Shirley Benfield for the caring and commitment, the fun and great times they have shared during the past three years. He also expressed much affection for all of Shirley's family. The family would like to thank all of the wonderful staff at Southminster who cared for Jim in his final weeks and days. The social workers, nurses, the CNAs and all of the staff deserve great big thanks for your obvious and demonstrable devotion to our father and to your profession. Jim joined Christ Episcopal Church in 1963 and has been continuously active there. There will be a memorial service at 11:00 AM on March 31, 2016, at Christ Church. Jim was devoted to the mission of Christ Church to serve those in need of sustenance, comfort and love. He has requested that people who wish to provide memorials do so to Christ Episcopal Church Foundation - Outreach Fund at 1412 Providence Road, Charlotte, NC 28207 or to the Southminster Community Fund at 8919 Park Road, Charlotte, NC 29210.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth Poe Funeral & Cremation Services, 1321 Berkeley Ave Charlotte NC 28204. Phone: 704 641-7606

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