James Tudor, a retired MU engineering professor, dies at 91

Monday, August 26, 2013 | 9:12 p.m. CDT; updated 4:30 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, August 27, 2013

*The time of the service has been changed back to its original time. It will now be 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, at First Baptist Church in Columbia.

COLUMBIA — Dr. James R. Tudor died Monday, Aug. 26, 2013, at the Boone Hospital Center at age 91

"He was one of the kindest and most gentle men I've met in my life," his wife Lenora Tudor said.

Dr. Tudor was born March 26, 1922, in Fort Smith, Ark. to Jesse and Letha Tudor.

As a young man, he joined the Army Air Corps, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. While serving in World War II, he was decorated with the European-African-Middle Eastern Theatre Campaign Ribbon, four Bronze Stars, the Air Medal, five Oak Leaf Clusters and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Later in life, he joined the Missouri Honor Flight, as well as the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization. 

Dr. Tudor earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from MU, then earned his Ph.D. from the Illinois Institute of Technology-Chicago. He returned to MU to teach electrical engineering until his retirement in 1984. 

He met his wife, Lenora Tudor, at the First Baptist Church, where he was a lifetime deacon. 

After his retirement, he joined the Boone County Historical Society and the Hallsville Historical Society. He also served on the Hallsville School Board. 

Dr. Tudor is survived by his wife, Lenora; five children, Martin Paul Tudor and his wife, Karen, of Washington, Mo., Caroline Conrey and her husband, Robert, of Gainesville, Fla., Louise Willsey of Mesa, Ariz., Ginny Pike and her husband, Jim, of Defiance, and Carla Brewer and her husband, Joe, of Hallsville; six grandchildren, Kelly Konie, Josh Pike, Samantha Clarkson, Jessica Howell, David Brewer and Jonathan Tudor; and four great-grandchildren. 

Three siblings, Zelpha Culbertson, Darlene Tudor and Norman Tudor, died earlier.

Memorial Funeral Home will hold a visitation from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at 1217 Business Loop  70 W. The funeral will begin at 11 a.m.* Thursday at First Baptist Church, 1112 E. Broadway.

Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church, 112 E. Broadway, Columbia, MO 65201; Central Missouri Honor Flight, 625 Cherry St., Columbia, MO 65201; or the charity of one's choice.

Condolences can be posted at

Supervising editor is Richard Webner.

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