Dr. James Ward Webster of Decatur, Ala, passed away after his battle with cancer on August 15, 2023, at his home with his loving wife of 60 years, Doris, by his side.
Ward was born in Winfield, Ala., to the late Valcus and Sally Ward Webster on April 24, 1938. He was a 1957 graduate of Winfield High School where he served as class Vice President and starred on the basketball team with the nickname “Deadeye.” He went on to graduate with his bachelor’s degree from UNA. He received his Master’s in Education, a Master’s in Counseling (MA) from the University of Alabama, and a PhD in School Administration from Columbia Pacific University. He was a member of Phi Delta Kappa and the Kappa Delta Pi Education Honor Society.
He spent 45 years in education beginning as a history teacher at his alma mater, Winfield High School. After obtaining his Masters, he became principal at Hackleburg High School. He then became Business Manager at Northwest Alabama State Jr College before moving his family to Decatur to become the first principal at Brookhaven Middle School. During his tenure at Brookhaven, the school was named one of the top five middle schools in the nation and he was named the National Middle School “Principal of the Year.” After serving as principal at Brookhaven for 18 years, he then became a Department Director at Faulkner University for 16 years before his retirement.
Dr. Webster will be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He was the truest definition of a servant and touched the lives of many with his words of wisdom and kindness. He never met a stranger and would give anyone the clothes off his back. He was an active member of Beltline Church of Christ and once served as a Deacon. His faith in the Lord was a testament to those around him. He enjoyed spending time with his family, traveling, and arguably most importantly, watching Alabama football. He was a member of the Red Elephant Club. He would always joke and say, “As Bear Bryant was once heard to say, ‘if you want to walk the heavenly streets of gold, you’ve got to know the password–Roll Tide Roll.’”
He is survived by his wife, Doris Perry Webster; his daughter, Allison Webster Cagle (Brian); and two granddaughters, Brianna Cagle and Lauren Cagle, all of Decatur. He is also survived by his sister, Betty Webster Perry (late Wilburn) of Brewton, Ala.; brother-in-law, Roger Perry (Jovy Ann) of Vestavia, Ala.; along with a number of cousins, nieces, and nephews.
A private family funeral service was held Friday, August 18, at Roselawn Cemetery. Pallbearers were Bob Cameron, Hoyt Condra, Sam Costello, Robert Reid, Roger Turner, and Charles Wilks. Honorary Pallbearers were Gary Hill and Jack Frederick.
Ward had a love and desire to support missionaries who spread the gospel. The family kindly requests that memorial donations be made to a fund of your choice for those serving in the missionary field.
The family wants to extend it’s appreciation to the staff of Hospice of the Valley, who were diligent in keeping him comfortable for his final days. Also, a special thanks to Dr. Kirk Jackson and his wonderful staff at Decatur Internal Medicine.
Shelton Funeral Home
2105 Beltine Rd. SW
Decatur, AL 35601
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