James W.T. Moody was a man of unmatched dignity, an unquenchable love of learning, and a gentle, generous spirit that ensured all who came in contact with him felt welcomed and respected. Professor Moody could speak on any topic, with anyone, anywhere, and at any time. Known for his black suits, bow ties, and straw hats, his larger-than-life persona cut a well-known and beloved figure on campus and around town. His passing on December 7, 2017, has left a deep void in the lives of all he knew and the impact of his loss has been felt throughout the community.
Born in Rockford, Illinois to Mary Kathryn (Caulkins) and George Wayne Moody on May 21, 1937, Professor Moody was the sixth of seven children. He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings but is survived by many nieces, nephews, and other family members, as well as good friends from around the world. His early years were spent in Rockford working the family farm, spending time with his extended family (especially his younger brother Skip), saving every single penny he earned to buy books, and reading everything he could.
A man’s friendships are one of the best measures of his worth.Charles Darwin
Professor Moody would earn his BA from Greenville College in 1959 and his MA from Michigan State University in 1960. He left MSU in 1967 having reached ABD status with his Ph.D. Before coming to LSSU, he was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of London from 1962-64; an Assistant Professor of History and Sociology at Greenville College, IL, from 1965-71; Lecturer in History at Malone College from 1969-70; and Instructor of Anthropology at Southern Illinois University.
Professors Moody faithfully served Lake Superior State University for 46 years, from his initial appointment to the history faculty in 1971 through his retirement in 2010 and subsequent employment as an instructor from 2010 up to the time he passed away. Jim served as an important and influential mentor to students and junior faculty. During his time at LSSU, Jim earned Associate Professor in 1983, earned Full Professor and tenure in 1992, received LSSU’s Distinguished Teacher Award in 1998, the Excellence in Academic Advising Award in 2005, and Professor Emeritus of History in 2017.
His knowledge, appreciation, and passion for higher education captured the hearts and minds of generations of students. He was an eclectic educator who taught anthropology, geography, history, humanities, mythology, and sociology. His diversity of publications and conference presentations from 1964 to 2017 reflect his varied educational tastes and proficiencies.
Active in the community, Professor Moody joined the Masons in 1979 and was voted Mason of the year in 2008. He was also a former Kiwanis member, City Commissioner, board member for the Chippewa County Historical Society, advisor to the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, many other campus clubs and organizations, as well as a long-time member of the Linnean Society of London. Professor Moody was instrumental to the development of and a board member for the Japan Center for Michigan Universities located in Hikone, Japan. He had many creative talents, including an impressive collection of Doodle art he loved to share, and enjoyed good food and good friends. He traveled extensively and some of his favorite memories include having tea with the Queen of England, an extended stay in a Tuscan villa, and his multiple visits to the far East. Regardless of where he was or what he was doing, the professor was always amongst friends.
Professor Moody wishes that you read a book and learn something new, enjoy a nice piece of pie with a cup of tea, be generous to all, eat as many good meals with friends and family as possible, and, if so inclined, buy a book for a child, support the Ball Hospice House, or the American Cancer Society.