He was a former management consultant and office director of management services for Arthur Young and Co., an international CPA firm. He also served as director of world wide travel services for the Automobile Club of Missouri with offices in Missouri, Illinois and Kansas. He was appointed to serve on both regional and national travel management committees to develop and promote domestic and international travel. Also, he developed management policies for McDonnell Automation Co. and McDonnell Aircraft and he established several independent small business ventures.
He started his career working for American Airlines in the Revenue Accounting Division while completing his college education. During this period he held various management positions involving operations improvements and developing management planning controls. After the Apollo Space program was under way he joined North American Aviation Space Division in Tulsa, developing and implementing cost control procedures for the manufacturing operations and support activities.
James, son of James Leland and Ruth Verna Sharpe was born in Chanute, where his grandfather served as chief of police in the 1930s. He attended grade school in Chanute and graduated from Parsons High School and Parsons Junior College. He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. He was a graduate of the University of Tulsa.
He was active in both civic activities and professional organizations and served as president of Young Republicans while residing in Tulsa. During this period, Oklahoma was successful in launching a two-party political system and established one of the first Republican statewide newsletters. He served on the board of directors for the Sharp Families In America Association.
He was married to Jo Ann Porter and they had four children, Keith Alan and his wife, Dora, of Naples, Fla., James Craig and his wife, Kim, of Oak Hill, Va., Kevin Lee and his wife, Paula, of Eureka, Mo., and Regina Ann and her husband, Jeff Alexander, of Lake St. Louis, Mo.
He is survived by his loving wife of 54 years and children; 11 grandchildren; a great-grandchild; and a sister, Otelia Ann Cornett of Overland Park;and a brother, Basil of Oklahoma City.
He was an active member of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Manchester, Mo. After retiring he remained active in the local community affairs, serving on various committees and special projects.
The service will be at 11 a.m. today at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 327 Woods Mill Rd., Manchester. Burial will be at 4 p.m. Thursday at White Oak Cemetery, Rogersville, Mo.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Financial Management Branch, Building 31, Room 8A34, 31 Center Drive, MSC 2540, Bethesda, MD 20892-2540, or Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.
Friends may call from 10 a.m. until service time today at the Schrader Funeral Home and Crematory, 14960 Manchester Road at Holloway, Ballwin. Visitation at the Preston-Marsh Funeral Home, 314 S. Main Street, Rogersville, Mo., will be Thursday afternoon until time of burial.