James was born in St. Louis to James William and Lena Rogers Terry on April 8, 1933. He moved to Memphis, Tenn., at the age of 6 weeks. He attended public schools in Memphis, then attended Memphis State University before enrolling at University of Tennessee Medical School.
He married Norma Eloise Larson on Aug. 14, 1955, at Bartlett, Tenn. He graduated from medical school in June 1957 and did a general internship in Columbus, Ga. Upon finishing the internship, he moved to McDowell, Ky., where he worked at a miners hospital. In January 1959 he began a residency in urology at the Veterans Hospital in Memphis.
In July 1963, he began the private practice of urological surgery in Cape Girardeau. He served in several different offices in the County Medical Society as well as the hospitals. He was one of the planners of the Cape Girardeau Doctors' Park and one of the first to move into an office there. He was a member of the Breakfast Optimist Club, then later a member of the Downtown Rotary Club.
As much as he loved the practice of medicine, his greatest joy was to share his love for Jesus Christ with other men. He served on the Board of Bibles for the World and the National Board of the Christian Medical Dental Society, where he went on some medical mission trips. He also served on the National Board for the Christian Businessmen's Committee.
He was instrumental in organizing the local Christian Businessmen's Committee and starting the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast. He served as the chairman for the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast for 10 years. Upon giving up that chairmanship, he devoted his time to meeting with men to share with them the importance of being a good husband and father. He hosted several Dad the Family Shepherd conferences for men as well as Biblical Portrait of Marriage seminars for couples and financial seminars teaching couples the importance of managing their money and staying out of debt. If asked his purpose in life, his reply would have been, "To go to heaven and to take as many people with me as I can."
He served as a Sunday school teacher as well as a deacon at First Baptist Church in Cape Girardeau, then later as a deacon at Lynwood Baptist Church, having also attended Westminster Presbyterian and Cape Bible Chapel. He currently is a member at Bethany Baptist Church.
His four children are Carolyn (Eric) Pruemer of Cape Girardeau, Alan (Penny) Terry of Pinehurst, N.C., Susan (Doug) Mangum of Albuquerque, N.M., and David (Dolly) Terry of St. Louis. His 12 grandchildren are Erynn (Jon) O'Brien; Bryant, Caleb and Cayce Mangum; Alex and Katie Terry; Erika, Bjorn, Brett and Carly Pruemer; and Marissa and Rachel Terry. He is also survived by brothers, Raymond Terry of Pickwick, Tenn., and Larry Terry of Summerville, Tenn.; and sisters, Beverly Pence of Arkansas and Betty Litton of Cordova, Tenn.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at Ford and Sons Mount Auburn Chapel.
Funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the funeral home, with Dr. Shawn Wasson officiating.
Entombment will be at the Cape County Memorial Park Mausoleum.
In lieu of flowers, send a donation to Bethany Baptist Church or the Alzheimer's Association.
Online condolences may be made at www.fordandsonsfuneralhome.com.