Baylor Mourns Death of Professor Emeritus of Economics

June 8, 2011
News Photo 5167Dr. W. James (Jim) Truitt, Professor Emeritus of Economics at Baylor University.

Baylor University is mourning the death of Dr. W. James Truitt, Professor Emeritus of Economics at the Hankamer School of Business, who passed away June 7 at his residence after a long illness. He was 71.

Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at OakCrest Funeral Home, 4520 Bosque Blvd. Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 11, at First United Methodist Church of Waco, 4901 Cobbs Drive. Burial will follow in Oakwood Cemetery.

Truitt grew up in Corsicana and attended Southern Methodist University, where he received bachelor's degrees in economics and math. He then attended Purdue University, where he earned his master's degree in economics and met his wife Cecile, who was working on her master's degree in mathematics. They married and moved the University of Illinois to work on their Ph.D.'s in their respective disciplines.

After obtaining his doctorate in 1969, Truitt became chair of the department of economics and finance at Baylor. After the departments were split, he continued as chair of the department of economics until 2000. When Truitt retired as department chair, he continued as a part-time faculty member until August 2004.

"Jim's legacy at Baylor is in the lives of the students he impacted and his tireless efforts on behalf of the Hankamer School of Business and Baylor University," said Dr. Terry Maness, dean of the Hankamer School of Business. "His drive for program excellence and student career opportunities will long be remembered by all those he came in contact with."

"Jim was a Baylor faculty member for nearly 36 years, and he was a department chairman during 30 of those years," said Dr. H. Stephen Gardner, The Herman Brown Professor of Economics and chair of the department of economics at Baylor. "Eugene Baker (a Baylor historian) and I could identify only one person in Baylor history, A.J. Armstrong, who was chair of English from 1912-1951 and founder of Armstrong Browning Library, who served longer as a department chairman."

Gardner said he has received numerous thankful comments from many of Truitt's former students. "Many have said, 'Dr. Truitt helped me to get my first job and helped me to get started in life.'"

After becoming a part-time faculty member, Truitt served the Lord through his work with One Mission Society (OMS) and Asbury University, serving as chair of both organizations' finance committees and the investment committees. He found great joy in serving the Lord through these two organizations.

Preceding Jim in death were his parents, Alton and Nova Merle Truitt, and his step-mother, Mary Taylor Truitt.

Jim is survived by his loving and encouraging wife, Cecile, who has taken care of him through his illness; two daughters, Dr. Susan Truitt, a career missionary in Seoul, Korea, with One Mission Society, and Catherine Truitt Newman and her husband, Tod, and their three children, Zachary, Hannah and Samuel of Tucson, Ariz.; brother, Dale Truitt and wife, Alice of Commerce; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to One Mission Society, P.O. Box A, Greenwood, IN 46142, Asbury University, Wilmore, KY 40390, or the W. James Truitt Endowed Scholarship at Baylor University.

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