Dr. James Allen “Jim” Buie, 79, died Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. A celebration of life will be held at 10:30 a.m. July 24 at the Grand Old Post Office, 201 Pearl St., Darlington. Family, friends, and members of the St. John’s High School classes of 1955 to 1962 are invited to attend and share memories. Dress is casual; attendees are invited to wear their favorite sports team fan gear.
Dr. Buie was born Dec. 31, 1940, the youngest of eight children born to John and Margaret Parnell Buie of Darlington. He was a standout left halfback on the St. John’s High School football team and was chosen to play in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. He also was a member of the St. John’s boys’ basketball and track teams. After graduating in 1959, he attended Elon University on a football scholarship. During his senior year, he served as Elon’s student body president. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Elon in 1963 and a master’s degree in education administration from Western Carolina University in 1966. He earned a doctorate in education from Duke University in 1972. His dissertation, “An Investigation and Analysis of Selected Characteristics of Students Who Withdrew from the Goldsboro City Schools System to Attend Independent Schools,” explored white flight to private schools after the federally ordered integration of public schools.
Dr. Buie began his education career as a teacher and assistant football coach under John McKissick, legendary coach of the Summerville High School Green Wave.
He was a teacher and coach at Palmetto High School in Williamston. In 1970, he became an assistant superintendent and later was promoted to superintendent of Goldsboro City Schools in North Carolina, where he served until 1975. He served as superintendent of Spartanburg County School District 3 from 1975 to 1990. Under his leadership, the district expanded its half-day kindergarten to a full-day program, which significantly improved first-grade readiness test scores. Dr. Buie also oversaw the construction of four new schools. The South Carolina Association of School Librarians named him its first Administrator of the Year for 1979-80.
After his retirement from district administration, Dr. Buie also worked as a principal at Cainhoy High School in Berkeley County and at Jones Senior High School near New Bern, North Carolina.
He also served on the St. John’s High School and Elon University alumni reunion committees and was a member of Rotary International.
Dr. Buie was an avid fan of the Duke University men’s basketball team. He also enjoyed 1950s rock ‘n’ roll and East Coast beach music. His hobbies included bicycling, caring for stray cats and bargain hunting. One of his favorite pastimes was reading the newspaper over breakfast, a daily ritual described in a 2010 tribute written by his daughter Donna and published in “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks, Dad.” He was well known for his strong work ethic, for having fun with friends and for helping people in need.
Dr. Buie is survived by his sister, Sarah Twist, of Orlando, Florida; three daughters, Lisa Buie (Mark Wood) of Tampa, Florida; Jill Slapnik (Michael) of Lexington; and Donna Buie Beall (Jim) of Vidalia, Georgia; a son, Allen Buie (Brad Whetstone) of East Boston, Massachusetts; two granddaughters, Jessica Slapnik and Anna Beall; and three grandsons, Dylan Wood, Jeremy Slapnik and James Beall.
Memorials may be made to the Elon University Office of University Advancement,
2600 Campus Box, Elon, NC, 27244; or Spartanburg Regional Healthcare Hospice, Spartanburg Regional Foundation, P.O. Box 2624, Spartanburg, SC, 29304.
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