James F. Slutz, 82, Professor Emeritus, ISU, of Terre Haute, Indiana passed away on February 24, 2019, at Regional Hospital. Jim was born in Bethany, Missouri, to James M. Slutz and Blanche E. Sewell Slutz in 1937. He is survived by his wife, Shirley; sons James G. Slutz and wife Marcia of Monroe, North Carolina, and Russell W. Slutz and wife Melissa of Nineveh, Indiana; 5 grandchildren, Emery, Ariana, Ryan, Andrew, Brent and wife Zonnie; 3 great-grandchildren, Lennon, Lincoln, and Riley; niece Debra Love and husband Richard of Atlanta, Georgia; nephew Craig Batterson of Orlando, Florida; brother-in-law Richard Batterson of Orlando, Florida; and stepmother-in-law Trudy McCutcheon of Apopka, Florida. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, James M. and Blanch Slutz, and his sister, Margo Batterson of Orlando, Florida.
Jim attended grade school in Bethany, Missouri. He then attended Missouri Military Academy in Mexico, Missouri, where he graduated in 1955. He earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Central College in Fayette, Missouri, in 1959. In 1963 Jim earned a Masters of Music Education degree from University of Wichita, Wichita, Kansas.
Upon completing his undergraduate degree, Jim served as Director of Music and later as high school principal at the Osage Reorganized School District R-1 located in Chamois, Missouri. He then went to Orlando, Florida, to establish a Department of Music on the campus of Orlando Junior College. While in Orlando he also worked as Educational Director for the Streep Music Company. In 1969 he went to Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida, as Director of Bands and Music Education. While at Florida Southern College, he established the 3rd Music Business program on a college campus in the United States. In addition, he served 2 years as Chairman of the Department of Music. During the summer for 17 years he served as the Associate Director of the Indianhead Arts Center, an affiliate campus of the University of Wisconsin, summer music and arts camp located in Shell Lake, Wisconsin. In 1989 Jim moved his family to Terre Haute, Indiana, and ISU's Music Department to lead their Music Business Program. 100 percent of the Music Business students that Jim taught in both Florida and Indiana graduated with a job. He earned the academic rank of Professor of Music and upon his retirement, he was awarded the President's Medal for outstanding service and leadership and was designated as Professor Emeritus of Music.
Dr. James Clifton Williams, internationally known composer of band music, asked Jim to serve as Assistant Conductor for his European Band Tour in the summer of 1972 and again in that capacity for the United States Collegiate Wind Band Tour of Europe in 1994.
Jim was a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and served that organization as a Province Governor and was awarded the coveted Orpheus award for his contributions to music and music education in America. In 1993, Jim received the Outstanding Alumni Award from Central Methodist University. He was elected to membership in Phi Kappa Lamda by his faculty peers at ISU. He was awarded the outstanding service award by Orlando Junior College. He was inducted into the International Honorary membership in Phi Beta Mu, the International Bandmasters Honorary Fraternity serving that organization as International Editor for 22 years.
In 2012 he was inducted into the Phi Beta Mu Hall of Fame. This is the highest honor awarded by that organization and was one of only 9 to be so honored in the 75-year history of the fraternity.
For over 20 years he served as a member of the Board of Directors of the John Philip Sousa Foundation and headed up the Legion of Honor project for over 10 years. In 2009 he was asked to develop a new project for the Sousa Foundation known as the John Philip Sousa Foundation's Young Artists Competition, a position he held until his death.
Locally Jim served on the Board of Directors of the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra for 12 years and as a Board member of the Terre Haute Children's Choir for 20 years. He was a member of the Central Presbyterian Church serving on the Worship Committee and as a member of the choir.
In addition to these awards and honors, Jim conducted honor bands throughout North America, judged music contests, was a clinician, guest conductor, author, guest speaker, visiting professor in Shenyang, China, and a dedicated Mason.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on March 23 at 1 p.m. at Central Presbyterian Church in Terre Haute.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to The Maestro Scholarship at Shell Lake Arts Center in Memory of James F. Slutz.
Mail to: Shell Lake Arts Center "Maestro Scholarship," 802 1st Street, P.O. Box 315, Shell Lake, Wisconsin 54871-9700.