Dr. James Carlton Dearth (Jim)
Published 3:19 pm Thursday, April 16, 2009
Dr. James Carlton Dearth (Jim), age 61, died suddenly early Sunday morning while sailing with his wife and friends. It was discovered later that Jim had an undiagnosed congenital heart lesion that predisposed him to sudden cardiac arrest.
Jim was born and raised in Monroe, Wisconsin. He attended Duke University on a football scholarship and served as the captain of the football team. After college, he received his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin and completed his residency and fellowship in pediatric hematology and oncology at the Mayo Clinic.
He treated hundreds of children with cancer at the Children’s Hospital of Alabama in Birmingham. Jim went on to serve as the hospital’s CEO and helped grow the hospital into one of the nation’s largest pediatric health care delivery systems. Jim also helped establish VOICES, a child advocacy organization serving the children of Alabama. In addition, he served as the Chairman of the Board of the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI), as well as Chairman of the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN), helping to improve health care for millions of children in the United States.
Jim retired to Chocowinity, North Carolina in 2007. He was a member of the Noon Rotary Club and served on the Chocowinity EMS Board. He coached youth basketball and participated in the Little Washington Sailing Club, a club formed to teach youth to sail. In Cypress Landing, he was on the Maintenance Committee of the Marina and raced with the Yacht Club. He was an avid exerciser and lifelong learner. His greatest joy was spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren.
Jim was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather who was deeply loved and admired for his commitment to his family, his profession, and to the children of Alabama. He is survived by his wife, Joanne, their three children, four grandchildren and his brother. The family will be receiving friends Saturday April 18 at the Cypress Landing Bay Club from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Chocowinity EMS Fund (512 NC Hwy 33E, Chocowinity, NC 27817), DWOW/Little Washington Sailing Club (PO Box 1988, Washington, NC 27889), or Children’s Hospital, Dr. Jim Dearth Child Advocacy Fund (1600 7th Avenue South, Birmingham AL 35233).