James (Jim) Barroll died at age 71 after a short battle with aggressive mantle cell lymphoma. As recently as three months ago, he ran a half marathon and was third in his age group. For over 40 years he was a widely respected broadcast journalist for radio stations in Columbia, Orlando, and Charlotte. Jim worked at WIS Radio in Columbia until 1984. From 1985 to 2016, Jim worked at WBT Radio in Charlotte, where he became News Director.
Jim could get along with anyone and had a wonderful sense of humor, perhaps aided by the numerous moves he experienced as a child. He was born in New York City and spent three years of his childhood in Princeton, New Jersey followed by four years in Austin, Texas. At age 7 he moved to Cincinnati where he lived for seven years. What followed was a change every year in schools: age 13 in Cincinnati; age 14 moved to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England; age 15 to Nashville; age 16 to Montclair, NJ; and finally a move to Columbia, SC for his senior year in high school.
Jim graduated from Dreher High School in Columbia in 1971 and graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1976 while working part time at the Babcock Center as a bus driver and at WIS radio. Jim originally started as a sports reporter before moving to news. He was always a strong supporter of the Cincinnati Reds and Newcastle United Soccer and attended many games of both teams.
In 1976 Jim married Robbie Lee Owens of Kingstree, South Carolina whom he met while she taught and Jim drove buses at the Babcock Center in Columbia. In 1983 their daughter Amy Elizabeth Barroll was born. Jim coached Amy’s soccer teams for many years. He also provided some of her most cherished childhood memories visiting airports, cutting out construction paper monsters, and reading bedtime stories.
Jim studied for two years at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, where his studies included Hebrew and Ancient Greek. He worked in prison ministry at various Charlotte area jails. Jim and Robbie were members of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte for many years and Jim’s strong Christian faith was an inspiration to many. Jim had a diverse religious background as his mother was Jewish. His niece Agnes Barroll Valdman is a Jewish Cantor.
In 2016, Jim retired and he and Robbie moved to Hendersonville, NC in 2017. Jim loved the mountains and spent many hours hiking and taking photos of sunsets and wildlife. In spite of being hospitalized for a month at age 11 for osteomyelitis, Jim was remarkably healthy for most of his life and ran two marathons and numerous 10ks and 5ks.
Jim is survived by his wife Robbie Lee Owens Barroll, his beloved daughter Amy Barroll, his oldest friend and brother Leeds (only 13 months older) of Lexington, SC (Kate), his beloved sister Ellen Barroll of Phoenix, AZ, his stepmother Susan Zimmerman, and his brother-in-law Jon Blair Owens (Janice). He is also survived by nephews Joseph Barroll, Jon B. Owens, Jr., David Owens (Ryan), and Franklin Owens (Heather), and nieces Becky Shelton (Ricky) and Agnes Barroll Valdman (Edon). He was predeceased by his mother Rayna Klatzkin Barroll Aschaffenburg, his father John Leeds Barroll III, and by his brother-in-law Robert Wedeman Owens, whose funeral was masterfully presided over by Jim.
Church Street Funeral Chapel - Directions
- Sunday, February 11, 2024
3:00 PM - 5:30 PM