James W. Souders, 74, died Wednesday, March 2, 2011, of Multi-System Atrophy, surrounded by his family.
Jim acquired his grass roots values of hard work as a result of growing up outside Merna, on a working farm. He attended a one-room schoolhouse until high school, and graduated college with a Civil Engineering Degree with Honors from the University of Nebraska and later an MBA from Rutgers University.
Jim worked for various petroleum companies during his lifetime such as Enjay, Elco, and Exxon. As a marketing manager he worked in various positions throughout the U.S., ultimately becoming the International Marketing Manager for Elco Chemical.
Jim was married to his college sweetheart, Lou Selk Souders, for 53 years. Together with their three children they created a home in Millington, N.J. for 30 years. Jim and Lou retired in 1997 to Wilmington, N.C., where they both embraced a Carolina lifestyle.
Jim spent a lifetime contributing his talents to his community through many volunteer activities. In addition to various positions in his church and as a 4-H leader and environmental volunteer, he held a variety of elected and appointed political positions.
While in New Jersey, he was at various times an appointed member of the Passaic Twp Environmental Commission, the Morris County Freeholders Shade Tree Commission, the Morris County Library Commission, as well as the Board of Trustees for the County College of Morris. He also served a term as an elected member of the Passaic Twp Committee with a concurrent role on the Planning Board, and volunteered at the Thomas Edison Library.
Upon relocating to North Carolina, he contributed his many talents to the Cape Fear River Watch, Cape Fear Museum, and Wilmington Symphony. He also actively followed local government by attending meetings and volunteering opinions.
Jim was presented with The President’s Volunteer Service Award by the city of Wilmington City Council in 2006, recognizing his lifetime of volunteer service.
Jim is survived by his wife, Lou; his daughter, Kim Sadowski and her husband Walter and son Alex; his son, Steven Souders and wife Carrie and their daughters, Emma, Anne, and Grace; and daughter Laurie Wierse and her husband Warren and their daughter, McKenzie, and son, Harrison. He also leaves behind a brother, Vern Souders and wife Becky, and sister, Meg Schrieber and her husband Bill, as well as a multitude of nieces and nephews.
Jim’s final resting spot will be back in his beloved Nebraska, where a memorial service will be held at a later date..
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in James’ memory to any of the following organizations: Cape Fear River Watch, Inc at www.cfrw.us;  Lutheran Church of Reconciliation at www.lcorwilmington.org;  or Multi-System Atrophy Research at www.shy-drager.org 
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.andrewsmortuary.com