James Mack Humphreys, Jr., M.D., entered his eternal rest early Friday morning, May 19, 2023, after a lengthy illness. His late father, James Mack Humphreys, Sr., was a descendant of the “Papa” Joe Humphreys Far West Texas pioneer ranching family who settled in the Marfa area circa 1890. His late mother was Barbara Clark Humphreys, a Mayflower descendant of Isaac Allerton. Barbara’s father was the doctor at Camp Marfa (later Ft. D.A. Russell) in the late 1920s after serving in The Philippines. Dr. Humphreys was born in 1943 when his father “Mack” was a pilot in the Army Air Corps.
“Jimmy” (as he was affectionately called by family members and everyone who knew him when he lived in Marfa) grew up on the Tinaja China Ranch near Shafter, Texas, and lived on Austin Street in Marfa. The JM Humphreys Family lived at the ranch mostly in the summers when school was out and even had a pet deer named “Sancha.” Jimmy slept on a bed on the screened-in porch of the ranch house that was later featured in the Tommy Lee Jones movie “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada” where the blind man was at a typewriter. It was late at night in late June 1954 when Jimmy, trying to sleep, could see the storms which were remnants of Hurricane Alice that made the Pecos River flood and interrupted service of the Southern Pacific Railroad’s “Sunset Limited.” The “Sunset Limited” used to have a scheduled stop in Marfa. Jimmy knew the train engineers and one time was allowed to drive the train several feet! His family were members of First Baptist Church of Marfa where his father was the Music Leader. At a young age, Jimmy began taking piano lessons from Mrs. Mead, and while in 8th Grade he played the organ at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Marfa. When he got his Driver’s License at age 14, he worked for rancher Earl Hammond, and then later drove the ambulance for Noland Kelley, the local funeral director. This training prepared him for his future career as a physician. Jimmy would also play the piano for the noontime Rotary Club meetings. He excelled in his education and graduated from Marfa High School. While growing up in Marfa, he attended Paisano Baptist Encampment almost from birth. He began contributing to the Encampment personally at an early age, serving as an accompanist in 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, and again in 1979 under Music Leaders Troy Campbell, Sam Allen, and Euell Porter. “Jim” graduated from Baylor University in Waco, majoring in English and Pre-Med Chemistry, and then Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. The UT-San Antonio Health Sciences Center was the site of his Ob-Gyn Residency. While a Resident, he joined the US Air Force Reserves and rose to the rank of Captain serving as a Flight Surgeon out of Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio.
Midland, Texas became home when he joined the Midland Women’s Clinic and delivered approximately 3,500 babies over an almost 30-year career in that area of medicine. The last baby he delivered was his school classmate’s daughter in 2002.
In April, 1986, he was employed as Vice President of Medical Affairs at Midland Memorial Hospital for about a decade and then returned to practicing as an Ob-Gyn.
Dr. Humphreys was also a medical writer for a few years for the Midland Reporter-Telegram.
When he stopped practicing as a gynecologist, he studied and became board-certified to practice Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Care when he was more than 60 years old. He definitely had a strong “work ethic.” He was the Medical Director of the Wound Management Center at MMH, working with Brian Middlebrook, DPM, overseeing the treatment of patients in the hyperbaric oxygen chambers and helping many people recover from wounds.
During his career of more than 50 years of practicing medicine, Jim also served for almost 4 decades as the Health Authority for the City of Midland. He was honored to serve the greater
community in this capacity, guiding the City through the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic.
During his almost 50 years as a Midlander, Jim was a very active member of First Baptist Church Midland where he sang tenor in the choir and solos, was a substitute organist, taught Sunday School, and served on the Board of Directors of the Church’s Foundation. The Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale also provided Jim with about 40 years of enjoyment as a tenor and soloist in the Chorale. Jim chose Midland as his adult hometown because of the musical opportunities he could have.
He, and his wife Sharon, believed in philanthropy so much so that they were honored by the Permian Basin Chapter of The Association of Fundraising Professionals as Outstanding Philanthropic Family in 2014.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Carolyn, and his son Robert. Survivors include his wife Sharon, his sister Grace, his sons Loyd (and wife Janis) and Earl (and wife Mary), his daughter Adrienne (and husband Brant) Stovall, his daughter-in-law Robyn, his stepson Chris Stephens, his stepson Mark (and wife Heather) Sessing, his stepdaughter Stephania Smith, his 5 grandchildren (Harrison, Hannah, Ben, Madison, and PB), his numerous step-grandchildren (especially Adam, Kevin, Zoe, Matthew, and Stella), several brothers-in-law, several nieces and nephews, many cousins, his medical community family, his beloved Sunday School Department, and his Paisano family.
The family wishes to heartily thank the entire Midland and Odessa medical communities, the community and staff of Manor Park, especially the awesome staff at the MP Scharbauer Cottage, and the staff of Home Hospice, especially Skip Hedgpeth and Melanie Clairmont.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Jim’s memory may be made to First Baptist Church Midland Missions or Music Departments (www.fbc-midland.org), Paisano Baptist Encampment
(www.paisanoencampment.org), or Midland Memorial Hospital Foundation (www.midlandhealth.org).
Visitation with his family will be held at Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home on North Big Spring Street in Midland on Friday, June 2nd from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. A service in his memory will be held on Saturday, June 3, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. in the Worship Center of First Baptist Church, Midland, TX, with Rev. Dr. Darin Wood officiating. If you can’t be present at the service in person, you may watch it live-streamed at www.fbc-midland.org. Online condolences can be made at www.npwelch.com.
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