School 12

James Wilson Garland Jr

August 1, 1933 ~ October 8, 2020 (age 87)


James Wilson Garland, Jr.

August 1, 1933 - October 8, 2020

Born August 1, 1933 to James W. Garland and May (Midgett) Garland, Jim was an intelligent soft-spoken boy. He learned photography from his father and enjoyed taking pictures. Competitive by nature, he excelled at school and enjoyed chess.

He also had quite a good memory, so when he was in the Army, he made extra spending money by winning at poker (no doubt counting cards). While attending Oberlin College, he met his first wife Kathy crashing a party at her college. They went on to the University of Chicago, were married in 1958, and had two children, Caroline and Margaret.

Jim got his PhD in Theoretical Physics and worked at the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle Campus, where he taught as well as writing and presenting papers. Being a perfectionist, Jim worked very hard, yet he was patient with his students, a few of whom became good family friends.

He adored walking and hiking outdoors and had a great appreciation for nature. He loved traveling and spent hours planning trips. He took his family on year-long sabbaticals to England and Germany. Some favorite vacation spots included Mexico, Australia and New Zealand – and he and Kathy retired to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

He loved animals, from the family cats, Daisy and Doucey, to all types of birds and wild animals. He enjoyed seeing animals in nature and in zoos. In fact, if there was a zoo where he was going, a visit there was pretty much guaranteed.

He was the quintessential absent-minded professor: intellectual, yet forgetful of the everyday (like eating lunch, or getting off the train at the right stop on the way home from work). But he was generous. He loved giving gifts and bringing back presents from trips. The night before Christmas, Jim was known to sneak out to find one more gift (or two, or three) for his loved ones.

Jim was a gentle and sensitive, soul. He will be missed by family and friends and remembered by countless others.

Jim is survived by his first wife, Katherine Garland, second wife, Barbara Driber, daughters, Caroline Martien (Robert) and Margaret Walljasper (Eric), and grandchildren Jonathan, Gretchen and Yana.

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