Longtime court clerk Jim Carr dies

Feb. 21, 2014 @ 05:32 PM

Jim Carr, who served as Durham County Clerk of Superior Court for 26 years and was a fixture in legal circles for most of his adult life, died Tuesday. He was 77.
Mr. Carr died while vacationing in Naples, Fla., after a long illness.
“He had just the perfect personality for the job of clerk of court,” said Milton Read, a retired District and Superior Court judge in Durham. “He had the knowledge. He was easy to talk to, laid-back, and people just felt comfortable around him.”
Read, who met Carr in the late 1950s, said he had “a good, quiet way of giving advice and getting along with his employees, and they seemed to really like Jim and enjoyed working for him.”
Carr “never got in a hurry when you were dealing with him,” Read said. “He was thorough, and he wanted things done right. He was as honest as the day is long, and that’s very important in a job like the one he had, and in any job.”
Richard Weintraub, senior assistant city attorney in Durham, knew Carr when he was in private law practice.
“He was a fine man, very knowledgeable, and very helpful to attorneys,” Weintraub said. “He was good-humored and good-natured. I would go to him if I needed to accomplish something with his office, and he knew all kinds of information, and was always willing to help. If you just listened, you’d learn what you needed.”
Mr. Carr served as Clerk of Superior Court from 1976 to 2002 before returning to private law practice.
He was a member of Blacknall Memorial Presbyterian Church in Durham, where he served as elder for many years.
In 2003, Mr. Carr was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by then-Gov. Mike Easley for his service to North Carolina.
He was the son of the late Superior Court Judge Leo Carr and Mrs. Betty Knott Carr of Burlington.
Mr. Carr is survived by his wife of 38 years, Joyce Carr; a daughter, Beverly Davis of Durham; a son, Thomas Lane of Wilmington; and four grandchildren, Charlie and Thomas Davis, and Carl and Chris Lane.
Also surviving are two sisters, Betty Jane Pulkingham of Burlington and Nancy Carr Newman of Athens, Texas.
A memorial service will be held at 12:30 p.m. Thursday at Blacknall Memorial Presbyterian Church. Officiating will be the Rev. Alan Poole and Ed Henegar.
A graveside service will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday in Pine Hill Cemetery in Burlington.
Instead of flowers, contributions may be made in Mr. Carr’s memory to Blacknall Memorial Presbyterian Church, The Salvation Army or the Durham Rescue Mission.