James Sherwood “Jim” Switzer Sr., 79, of Kerrville, passed from this life on Saturday, January 4, 2020, at a hospital in San Antonio.
He was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Charles W. Switzer and Marie Anderson Switzer.
The family moved to Austin, Texas, in 1947, then to Laredo, Texas, in 1953, where James attended Martin High School. Upon graduation, in 1958, he attended SMU, in Dallas, Texas, on a football scholarship. His football career ended that year with a neck injury.
He joined the FBI in 1960 in Washington, D.C., working as a file clerk until joining the United States Air Force in 1962, serving until 1966, when he attended the U.S. Border Patrol Academy.
As a Border Patrol Agent, James worked on the southern and northern borders in Texas, Vermont, California, Washington and Arizona. He also spent over a decade working with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service in Montreal, Canada; Fort Allen, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, U.S.V.I; and Bangkok, Thailand.
He met his wife, Rebecca, during his time in Montreal, and they were married in 1984 in Laredo, Texas. They lived together in Bangkok, Thailand, where they had several opportunities to travel through Asia, Russia and Australia. A beautiful life and time for two people who enjoyed seeing the world.
In 1987, James moved with Rebecca to Laredo, Texas, to be closer to his son, James Jr., during his final years of high school in Del Rio. He and Rebecca enjoyed football games and the time that they were able to spend with James Jr. and his friends until August 1988, when James drove with James Jr. to Dallas to begin his attendance at SMU.
Assistant to the Chief Patrol Agent during his time in Laredo, James then moved to Swanton, Vermont, for a promotion to Deputy Chief Patrol Agent, followed by a promotion to Chief Patrol Agent in Spokane, Washington. His final duty was Chief Patrol Agent in Yuma, Arizona, where he retired 1/1/2001.
During 40 years of U.S. Government service, and 35 years of U.S. Federal Law Enforcement, James was known as a leader, mentor and friend to those around him. He taught courses at the Border Patrol Academy and spoke to several graduating classes there. He was most proud of his brotherhood of Border Patrol Agents from the Department of Justice.
James was also known as a loving husband, father, brother and son. His anonymous gifts to local charity were many, and given with love and pride.
He was a prolific reader, a deep thinker and consummate history buff with a sharp, witty sense of humor. He will be deeply missed by his loving wife, Rebecca, and his son, James Jr.
James was preceded in death by his parents, Charles Wesley and Marie Anderson; and his brother, Steven A. Switzer.
He is survived by his wife, Rebecca C. Switzer of Kerrville; son, James S. Switzer Jr. of New York City; sister, Nancy S. Leyendecker of Laredo; sister-in-law, Linda Switzer of New Mexico; step-daughter, Ronda Hargrove of Texas; nieces, Meredith Switzer of Colorado, Jessica Eyles and Lisa Rossignol of Maine; and nephew, Brian Switzer.
In his humble nature, James did not wish to be memorialized, rather remembered lovingly by all those he touched. A private family gathering will be held at a later date.
He will rest at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you give a gift to your favorite local charity as he would have done.
Arrangements are under the direction and personal care of the professionals at Kerrville Funeral Home, 830-895-5111.