James L. 'Jim' Black

April 21, 1955 ~ April 1, 2021 (age 65)



James Lombard “Jim” Black, 65, one of Lee County’s most innovative and celebrated Industrial leaders, died Thursday morning, April 1, 2021 at his home near Saltillo after battling an extended illness. Jim was the prime mover and shaker who brought the then Canadian-owned Norbord Industries to the Guntown area in 1981. A lifelong workaholic, he retired as Vice President in 2020.  Jim was born in Youngstown, Ohio on April 21, 1955 to the late Howard Floyd Black and Alice Virginia Lombard Black.  He grew up in Ohio, graduated in 1973 from Poland Seminary High School in Poland, OH, and received his BS in Forestry and Business Administration from The Ohio State University. He spent the rest of his life as a Buckeye sports fan but also loved Miss. State University sports as a proud Mississippian. Jim was always an avid Cleveland Browns fan. He loved watching college football, attending concerts, golfing, dancing, sitting by his pool, walking on the pier and watching remarkable sunrises from the balcony at their condo in Navarre Beach, FL.  He was a communicant of St. James Catholic Church in Tupelo. It was said of Jim by his daughter-in-law: “He was an amazing person. Strong willed, yet kind, he was a social butterfly who got along with anyone and everyone.  He was a selfless man and would give you the shirt off his back to help you. A man of little fanfare but full of life, decent with a strong work ethic, he loved and revered his family. He lived a meaningful life as a friend, a colleague, a boss, a son, a brother, a dad, a father-in-law, and a grandpa. He’s now an angel watching us and we will always love our Pops.”  Jim’s was a wonderful life lived fully and completely. A grateful family and his friends express gratitude for the journey!!

A memorial prayer service celebrating his life will be held at Noon on Saturday, April 10, 2021 at the Tupelo Chapel of Holland Funeral Directors with Father Tim Murphy officiating.  A celebration of life meal will be served at 1:30 PM at the Hilton Garden Inn in Tupelo for all his family and friends. The family will begin to receive guests at 11 AM Saturday.  For those unable to attend, the service may be viewed at at Noon Sat. and will be permanently archived thereafter.

Jim is survived by his wife and caregiver, Allison Outlaw Black of Saltillo; his sons, Jimmy Black and wife, Helen of Montclair, NJ, and Ryan Black and his wife, Mary Ward of Bozeman, MT; his sisters, Malinda Daring (Dane) of Bellefontaine, OH, and Amy Wheeler of Forest City, FL; his grandchildren, Xavier Black, Carina Black, Anna Christine Black; a brother- and sister-in-law, Ellen Hester (Mike) and Joel Outlaw (Chas); his nieces and nephews, Trey Daring (Kyle), Bryn Stewart (JR), Ryan Wheeler (Meri), Patrick Wheeler, Marc Wheeler, Libby Grier (Matt), Brody Outlaw, Pamela Hester (Aaron) and Jordan Outlaw, and their children; and his Norbord family whom he loved dearly. He was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Alice Black; his in-laws, Larry and Beverley Outlaw; and his sister, Chrissy Black.

Pallbearers will be Mark Stephens, Wayne Edwards, Bill LeBaw, Anthony Osborne, Taylor Powell, and Jeff Otts.  Honorary pallbearers will be his Norbord Family.

Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 252 Danny Thomas Way, Memphis, TN 38105.  Condolences may be emailed to



April 10, 2021

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Tupelo Chapel of Holland, Tupelo Chapel

Prayer Service
April 10, 2021

12:00 PM
Tupelo Chapel of Holland, Tupelo Chapel

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