Jim was born in Waco on Aug. 15, 1923, and was reared in Waco and Longview before beginning his collegiate education at Texas A&M University. He interrupted his studies at A&M to serve in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during World War II. He served in the European Theatre and retired as a second lieutenant.
Following his service in the war, he finished his education at the University of Texas at Austin, earning a B.B.A. degree in 1948. While in Austin, he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and Texas Cowboys, and he met his future wife, Molly Barnes.
He was a loyal supporter of both schools all of his life, serving on the Development Board for the College of Arts & Sciences at A&M and also serving as chairman of the Advisory Council of the Business School at the University of Texas. Jim’s outstanding business career was recognized at the University of Texas through his Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1970 and election to the College of Business Administration Hall of Fame in 1989.
His business career was centered on Southland Life Insurance Co., where he worked for more than 32 years, serving as the company president, chairman, and chief executive officer. Following his retirement from Southland, Jim joined Texas Commerce Bancshares as vice chairman and held that position until 1988.
In addition to his professional career, he served the community through his involvement in numerous activities and organizations, including the Central Dallas Association, Dallas City Plan Commission, Dallas Chamber of Commerce, Dallas YMCA, Salesmanship Club of Dallas, Children’s Medical Center, Presbyterian Hospital, and St. Paul Hospital.
Jim left a lasting impression on countless individuals throughout the community with his quick wit, contagious smile, optimistic disposition, and kindness to everyone. A handwritten note of encouragement was commonplace from Jim Goodson, and the family continues to receive impactful stories about his leadership and encouragement. Jim was a devoted and loyal friend, maintaining many lifelong relationships. He was also a man of great faith, serving as deacon and elder at Highland Park Presbyterian Church. Above all else, he put family first. His love of his wife, children, grandchildren, and great-granddaughter was unsurpassed, and it was spending time with his family that made him happiest.
Jim is preceded in death by his daughter, Laura Goodson Glasgow; his parents, William Lloyd and Susie Mae Goodson; brother, William Clyde Goodson, and his wife, Alice. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Molly; daughter, Liza Nichols and her husband, Rusty; son, Jim Goodson; son, Tom Goodson and his wife, Wylly; son-in-law, Hank Glasgow; as well as grandchildren, Steve Owen, Molly Soper and her husband, Steven, and their daughter, Mary; Sam Owen; Jason Nichols and his wife, Leslie; Will Nichols; Claire Goodson; Liza Goodson; Henry Goodson; and step-grandchildren, Martha Glasgow Greenberg and her husband, Steve, and their daughter, Kate; Hank Glasgow Jr. and his wife, Jordan; and Bo Glasgow.
The family would especially like to thank Family Staffing Solutions and their faithful caretakers Jean Marc Murat, Charles Etta Young, D’Antoinette Price, Claudette Chancellor, and Alice Carter, as well as the Traymore and Faith Presbyterian Hospice for their exceptional service.
A memorial service was held in the sanctuary of Highland Park Presbyterian Church on Dec. 19, 2012. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of James B. Goodson to the Salesmanship Club of Dallas at 106 E. 10th Street, Dallas, TX, 75203; the Center for BrainHealth at 2200 Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, TX, 75235; or the charity of your choice.