James Robert (Jim) Cliburn, a loving husband, father, Papa, and coach, was taken into the arms of our Loving Savior on August 6, 2017. Family and friends are invited to come celebrate his life at a memorial service set for 11 a.m. Saturday, August 12, 2017, at First Baptist Church in Bryan. Guests are invited to a catered meal at the church immediately following the service. A graveside interment for his family will follow at Denson Cemetery in Grapeland, Texas.
He was born in Palestine, Texas on June 28th, 1947 to B.C. Cliburn and Wessie Fitchett Cliburn. After graduating from Grapeland High School, Jim married his high school sweetheart Linda Kay Allen. Upon graduation from the University of North Texas, he coached at Spring Branch Independent School District for seven years, followed by three year stints at both Hardin High School and Hampshire-Fannett High School. During those years, he and Linda were blessed with two children, Jennifer Kay and Chad Russell. The family moved to Corpus Christi in 1984 where Jim coached football for 30 years at Calallen High School. While there, he positively influenced and impacted the lives of hundreds of players and students by demanding nothing less than excellence while at the same time sharing the love of Jesus Christ. Jim was named Coach of the Year in District 30 4-A in 1999, becoming the first assistant coach to ever receive the award. He was later recognized for his outstanding contributions to Calallen High School when the school’s weight room was named in his honor. In 2015 he was inducted into the Coastal Bend Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
After retiring in 2014, Jim and Linda moved to College Station, Texas where he served as a deacon at First Baptist Church, Bryan and was a member of the College Station Noon Lions Club. During his retirement years, he enjoyed saltwater fishing at the Land Cut, Friday night football games with friends, attending granddaughters’ dance recitals, and throwing the ball with grandson Conoly.
Jim is survived by his wife of 49 years, Linda Cliburn; daughter, Jennifer and her husband Greg Griffin of Sugar Land, Texas; son, Chad and his wife Elizabeth Cliburn of Boerne, Texas; four grandchildren, Bailey (10) and Peyton (7) of Sugar Land, Texas, Eloise (5) and Conoly James (2) of Boerne, Texas; brother, Mike Cliburn of Palestine, Texas; and several brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces, and nephews.
The family would like to acknowledge with appreciation the caring support of the wonderful staffs at MD Anderson Hospital and Hospice Brazos Valley. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made in Jim’s memory to MD Anderson Cancer Center at gifts.mdanderson.org, or to Hospice Brazos Valley at 502 W. 26th St., Bryan TX 77803.