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A Life in the Theatre – James Stuart Jr.

A Life in the Theatre – James Stuart Jr.

James Stuart Jr., Playhouse supporter and local retired banker, died February 19 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Jim and wife, Susan, were honorary co-chairs of the Playhouse 1996 “A Time to Act” capital campaign. In 2010, the Stuarts donated the Playhouse’s LED sign on South 56th Street. Jim also offered wise counsel to our current strategic planning.

Jim was a native of Lincoln, Nebraska, and attended the University of Nebraska graduating in 1965 with a degree in Business Administration. Subsequent to graduation, Jim served in the U.S. Army as an aviation officer in various aviation groups, including a one year tour of combat duty as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. Jim left active duty as a captain. In 1969, Jim joined Citibank in New York City and served as a loan officer in various capacities until 1973 when he joined First Commerce Bancshares (then NBC Co.) as Executive Vice President. He was named President in 1976, Chairman and CEO in 1978, and also became Chairman and CEO of National Bank of Commerce in 1985. First Commerce Bancshares was merged with Wells Fargo in June of 2000. Subsequently, Jim opened an investment office with his two older sons – Jim, III and Lee – where he managed various investment portfolios, and continued his civic activities.

Jim served the community, state and country in many civic, business and political activities. He served as Chair of both the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Lincoln Association. He had also served on the Board of the University of Nebraska Foundation and Nebraska Wesleyan University among others. Jim was also active in many political races. Since leaving First Commerce Bancshares in June of 2000, Jim served on the International Board of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and also served on the Board of First Plymouth Church where he served as Chair of the Board of Trustees. Currently Jim had recently been a director of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, on the Board of the Nebraska Environmental Trust and served on CPC Committee for Ducks Unlimited. Jim lived in Lincoln with his wife Susan traveling frequently to their home in Canada, and their winter home in Scottsdale, AZ.

He has six children. Jim enjoyed hunting, fishing, diving, skiing, and golf. Survivors: wife, Susan Sehnert Stuart; sons, James Stuart, III (Barbara), Lee R. Stuart (Debra) of Lincoln, NE; Robert D. Stuart (Thomas Van Klaveren) of Portland, OR; daughters, Susan S. Seiler (Kenneth) of Edina, MN; Carolyn J. Stuart; Megan M. Stuart of Lincoln, NE; mother, Helen Catherine Stuart of Lincoln, NE; sister, Catherine (Kit) Schmoker (Richard) of Edina, MN; brother, W. Scott Stuart (Jane) of Lincoln, NE. Also survived by nine grandchildren, James Stuart, IV; Matthew D. Stuart; Thomas J. Stuart; Samantha G. Seiler; Margaux F. Seiler; Ian F. Seiler, Caroline J. Seiler; Madeline E. Stuart, Benjamin L. Stuart, parents in-law; Walt and Jean Sehnert. Preceded in death by father, James Stuart; two grandsons, Michael Patrick Stuart and Kenneth James Seiler.

Memorials to First Plymouth Church, Nebraska Game & Parks Foundation, and Nebraska Environmental Trust.