Dr. James “Jim” Walter Bartling passed away Sept. 24, 2020, at the age of 70. The world has lost a great son, brother, husband, father, teacher and friend.
Jim was born in St. Louis, Mo., Feb. 21, 1950, the oldest of four children of Walter and Betty Bartling. The family moved many times during his younger years, including to Burlington, Colo.; Seattle; St. Louis, and Ft. Wayne. Regardless of the town they lived in, you could always find Jim playing football, basketball, baseball and hockey.
After graduating high school, he attended Lake Forest College in Illinois before becoming a pharmacy student at Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy, from which he graduated with a bachelor of science in pharmacy in 1976 and a doctor of pharmacy in 1977. He practiced at Doctors Memorial Hospital in Atlanta before being named director of Admissions, Job Placement and Continuing Education at Mercer University and later becoming the associate dean for Student Affairs and Admissions, where he served for 38 years until his retirement in 2016.
Jim was dedicated to the practice of pharmacy and, as a certified addiction counselor, to the support and recovery of pharmacists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians with substance use disorders. He led the PharmAssist program of the Georgia Pharmacy Foundation and hosted their meetings on Mercer University’s Atlanta campus weekly. Jim’s engagement roles in pharmacy and health care are vast and too numerous to list. His impact and legacy on the Mercer University College of Pharmacy and the profession, especially in Georgia, will be felt forever.
He was a former president of the Georgia Pharmacy Association and on the board of directors of the Georgia Pharmacy Foundation, chairing the latter until his passing. In addition, he was awarded the Bowl of Hygeia from the Georgia Pharmacy Association in 2009, one of the most prestigious recognitions of pharmacist leaders in each state. As further evidence of his commitment to the practice of pharmacy, he created and endowed a scholarship that will benefit Mercer University pharmacy students well into the future.
Jim was not just a leader in the community, but he was a beloved friend and family-man, spending every opportunity he could with his grandchildren. When he wasn’t doing that, he and his wife Linda loved spending time at their place on Lake Hartwell, at Oyster Bay in St. Maarten, or traveling the world. He was an avid runner and huge fan of baseball.
He is survived by his soulmate Linda of 32 years as well as his mother Betty Bartling; brother Chris (Derrith) Bartling; sister Julie Bartling Ricker; children Amy (Matt) Shaffer, Brad (Jill) Bartling, Mike (Jennie) Voynich, and Jamie (Eric) Reichling; and grandchildren Connor, Addison, Connell, Riley, Barry, Brielle, Hudson and Asher. He is preceded in death by his father Walter Bartling and his sister Lucy Bartling Barnett.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the James W. Bartling Endowed Scholarship Fund. Checks may be made payable to Mercer University and sent to Mercer University, c/o Office of University Advancement, 1501 Mercer University Drive, Macon, GA 31207. Please note in the subject/memo line that the gift is in Jim’s memory and for the James W. Bartling Endowed Scholarship Fund. Gifts can also be made online at mercer.edu/givenow<http://mercer.edu/givenow> (Again, with a note in the honor box that the gift is in Jim’s memory).
Jim will be remembered for his overwhelming contribution to his community and his unwavering love for his family. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.