OBITUARY: James Thomas “Jim” Haggar

OBITUARY: James Thomas “Jim” Haggar

James Thomas “Jim” Haggar departed this world for a better destination on Oct. 30, 2017.

He was born to Thomas and Lydia Pauline (Spicer) Hager in Nashville, Tennessee, on Jan. 11, 1950. The second of four children, Jim spent his early childhood in Donelson, Tennessee, before moving to Old Hickory, Tennessee, during his elementary school years. In high school, he was captain of the debate team and won numerous awards and ribbons for DuPont High School in debate competition. He graduated from DuPont in 1968, but not before becoming the school’s hero by alerting authorities and rushing into the burning building to save
the drafts of Dupont’s 1968 yearbook when the school caught on fire.

After high school, Jim enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He served on active duty from 1969 to 1972, attaining the rank of corporal. During his active service, he was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and the Meritorious Mast Award. He also served in the Marine Corps Reserve, where he attended Officers Candidates School. He received an Honorable Discharge from the Corps in 1982 as a first lieutenant.

He attended Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, and earned his associate’s degree in 1973. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee in 1973 with a double major of Political Science and Soviet Relations. While at the University of Tennessee he distinguished himself by serving two terms as the president of the UT Campus Veterans Association. He also served as the Tennessee state director of the National Association of Concerned Veterans, an organization of Vietnam-era veterans. He would later earn an Executive Masters in Leadership from Georgetown University and the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.

After college, he moved to Houston, Texas, where he worked for a technology provider to NASA’s Johnson Space Center and to the petro-chemical industries of South East Texas, including DuPont, Dow, Marathon Oil and many others. Jim spent the majority of his career as an executive in the retail furniture industry, working with the nation’s largest retail and manufacturing furniture companies based in several locations including New York City, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C., as well as extensive travel to furniture markets at High Point,
Copenhagen, Milan and all points in-between. His last executive position was as the Director of Retail Operations for Rowe Furniture.

He took retirement in 2000 after receiving a liver transplant and has spent his following years traveling to Hawaii, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, Mexico, and considerable travel within the continental United States. Jim spent time speaking to other pre- and post-transplant patients offering his experience and perspective while preparing and consoling them through their own transplants. He was an avid reader, an art enthusiast, as well as a history and space connoisseur. Jim expressed interest in and had plans to travel beyond earth on a space vehicle like the Virgin Galactic. Generous in helping others, he volunteered to assist elderly executing their right to vote during elections. He enjoyed family and friends visits to Washington D.C., where he could provide an in-depth historical tour of our country’s heritage.

Jim is survived by life partner of 25 years, William Stevenson. He is also survived by two sisters, Betty Taylor and Brenda Hager, brother Bobby Hager, niece Dawn Taylor, and a Siamese mix rescue kitty named Rose.

A Celebration of Jim’s Life is planned for 2 p.m. on Saturday Nov. 11, 2017, with visitation from 12 – 2 p.m. at Williamson Memorial, 3009 Columbia Avenue, Franklin, TN 37064.

Additional information is available at or 615-794- 2289.

In lieu of flowers, Jim’s family requests that donations be made in his memory to VCU Medical Center’s liver transplantation program at the Hume-Lee Transplant Center (

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