James L. Tuttle, Jr. passed away peacefully at home in Acworth, Georgia on Friday, December 27, 2019, at the age of 77, after complications due to cancer.
Jim was born on January 15, 1942 in Mobile, Alabama to James and Irene Besham Tuttle. Son of a highway contractor, he lived in a number of cities as a child, graduating from Pelham High School in southwest Georgia. Upon receiving his engineering degree from Mississippi State University in 1963, Jim joined Howard Needles Tammen and Bergendoff (HNTB), one of the world’s leading architectural, engineering, and planning firms. Through his distinguished career, he moved up the ranks to Associate, Partner, Southeast Division President, and Aviation Service Group Chairman. Under his direction, HNTB became one of the largest aviation consultants in the United States.
Jim began his HNTB career in Kansas City as a Structural Bridge Engineer. He relocated to Atlanta and became the Chief Airport Engineer. He was the Project Manager of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s $410M Development Program from 1976 to 1982. Jim was integral to the airport’s highly successful new terminal expansion on time and within budget. The terminal complex project consisted of 104-gates, at the time the largest in the world and also second in the world as to air traffic. Jim valued the challenge of this pyramid-sized project, saying “I don’t feel that in my profession you get too many of these in a working career…Just the size and timing. It’s an experience of a lifetime.” Committed to the participation of minority businesses, he helped minority contractors and consultants get more than 25% of the Development Program work. As a result of his accomplishments at the airport, Jim was named 1979 Engineer of the Year in Construction and the Engineering-News Record Marksman of the Year in 1980 for his most significant contribution to the construction industry.
Elected to the HNTB Partnership in 1983, Jim was responsible for the Southeast Division that included Georgia, Florida and North Carolina offices. In 1989, Jim returned to Atlanta and became the firm’s Aviation Service Group Chairman over all domestic and international aviation projects. He was a certified professional engineer in more than 30 states.
After 32 years with HNTB, Jim retired and joined his wife’s firm, JAT Consulting Services, as a Management Consultant. An unequivocal expert in program and construction management, he provided valued assistance in business operations analysis, system reviews, and workable solutions to meet client needs.
Jim and his wife, Jo Ann, had a passion for travel and fly fishing. Their many adventures included trips throughout the world, including Honduras, Bahamas, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Slovenia, Spain, and Italy. On their honeymoon in 1992 they traveled to the Amazon, staying in a very remote Indian Village.
Ever the project manager, Jim kept an Excel spreadsheet detailing the dates and ranking of every trip. One of Jim’s favorite sayings was “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” This philosophy extended to his professional life. He mentored both engineering students and engineers, as well as small to medium sized A/E firms within his work, having a huge impact on their growth and success.
Jim was preceded in death by his sister DeeDee Jackson and stepson Scott Terrell. He is survived by his wife Jo Ann, stepson Benjamin Terrell, daughter Marci Jean Cimador, grandson Cole Terrell, granddaughter Ashley Terrell, and nephews and a niece. A private celebration of his life will be held on January 18th. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust.