Obituary: Rev. Dr. James Wallace Muir

A memorial service and celebration of his life will be held on July 7 at 2 p.m. in the Holly Room of Medford Leas.

James Wallace Muir, “Jim”, died peacefully in the company of family at his beloved Medford Leas, Medford, NJ on May 25, 2018, just weeks after his 90th Birthday. He was born to Charles Marshall Muir and Mary Shane Muir on May 8, 1928 in Van Wert, OH.

Jim graduated from East Orange High School in East Orange, NJ (1946), and went on to attend Lafayette College in Easton, PA, graduating in 1950. He entered Union Theological Seminary in Morningside Heights, New York City that same year, graduating in 1953. He found Union to be an intellectually exciting place to be, studying under such luminaries as Paul Tillich, Reinhold Neibuhr and John Knox. One of his most influential professors was John Bennett, who taught and wrote widely in the field of ethics. He was so impressed that he went on to write his thesis “Apartheid and the South African Churches.” Union Seminary set the path for Jim’s lifelong concern and advocacy for justice, social reform and racial equality.

Upon his ordination in 1953, he fulfilled the calling to serve Central Presbyterian Church in Summit, NJ as the assistant pastor, a position he held for six years.

In 1959, Rev. James W. Muir was charged with the task of helping to organize a new church in Levittown, NJ (now known as Willingboro). It was a job well suited to him as he always enjoyed meeting new people and working in service of the community. He loved creating something where previously there had been nothing. The First Presbyterian Church of Willingboro grew rapidly to a congregational membership of more than 700.

In 1970, Jim left the parish ministry to work as the executive presbyter for the Presbytery of West Jersey, an elected position he held for five consecutive terms.

Following in his father’s footsteps, he was an omnivorous reader with a passion for learning. His educational curiosity never wavered and in 1978 he earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago IL. He enjoyed playing golf, taking nature photographs to share with family and friends, and giving prospective resident tours and employee orientation programs at Medford Leas.

Jim is survived by his wife of 65 years, Jeannette (née Tousley), children Cindy (Keith) Quinton, Moorestown, NJ: Becky (Ian) MacKellar, Canton NY: Doug (Michelle) Muir, Medford, NJ and six grandchildren Tous (Kathleen) Preston, Chatsworth, NJ: Carly (Josh) Kubat, Moorestown, NJ: Shane (Jess) MacKellar, Morrisonville, NY: Gavin MacKellar, Potsdam, NY: Heather Muir, Yucca Valley, CA and Lake Muir, Philadelphia, PA and two great- granddaughters Ashlynn and Hannah, his brother John (Nancy) Muir, Auburn, ME.

A memorial service and celebration of his life will be held on July 7 at 2 p.m. in the Holly Room of Medford Leas.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Medford Leas Nurses Scholarship Fund.

Medford Leas Way, Medford NJ 08055.

Condolences may be left at www.lewisfuneralhomemoorestown.com