James Preston “Jim” Harris, III

Published 2:20 pm Wednesday, March 30, 2022

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James Preston “Jim” Harris, III

James Preston “Jim” Harris, III, age 83, of Wilsonville, passed away Tuesday, March 29.

The visitation will be from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Monday, April 4 at First Baptist Church of Columbiana. The funeral service will follow at 12:30 p.m. at the church with Dr. Mike Miller officiating. Burial will be at 2 p.m. at the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo. Bolton Funeral Home is directing.

Jim was born in Jefferson County and raised in Pleasant Grove, moving to Wilsonville in 2004. He was a proud son of the South, a Christian and a member of First Baptist Church of Columbiana. He attended Fairfield High School and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, studying accounting.

Jim had a long career in real estate, first as a mortgage banker and then in the real estate title industry in Birmingham. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to found several successful businesses – Cambridge Title, Preferred Title and Common Bond Title, from which he retired at the age of 80.

Jim was predeceased by his parents, Agnes Amelia Glen Harris and James Preston Harris, Jr.

He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Mary Jane Aldridge Harris; daughters, Mary Lee Carter (Ed), and Suzanne Lynne McAdams (Mark); sister, Glenda Aileene Robertson (Carl); grandchildren, Rebecca Lynne Gattus (Bill), Andrew Wheeler McAdams and Lydia Jane McAdams; and great-grandson, Carter James Gattus.

He served his country with honor as a member of the Alabama Army National Guard, the Civil Air Patrol and the USAF Auxiliary. Jim was a very active member of his community and served in many volunteer capacities. He served for several years as Chairman of the Pleasant Grove Planning and Zoning commission.

His passion for aviation led him to serve as Past President of the Birmingham Aero Club, Past President of the Birmingham Soaring Society and to serve on the board of the Southern Museum of Flight. He was the Co-Founder of the Shelby County Aviation Society and a member of the Birmingham Hangar of Quiet Birdmen. He also volunteered for many years as chairman and treasurer of the Fourmile Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department.

After his family, Jim loved to fly more than just about anything else. He was a commercial multi-engine aircraft pilot and a commercial glider pilot. Flying was more than just a passion for Jim. He believed every hour in the air was a gift from God. His most meaningful flying was as an Angel Flight pilot transporting medical patients and their families.

He also loved nature and the outdoors, and over the years spent many hours with friends and family hunting, birdwatching, backpacking, canoeing, camping, sport shooting, flying, riding motorcycles and taking care of his animals. Even as his health declined, he made sure that his animals would be cared for lovingly.

Jim loved his life, family, friends and co-workers. He is dearly missed.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the American Cancer Society or the Southern Museum of Flight.

Please sign online condolences at Boltonfuneralhome.com.