James Lee (Jim) Brewer, II, 56, passed away in Chattanooga on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, after a courageous fight against oral cancer. A viewing will be Friday, Feb. 2 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in downtown Chattanooga. Visitation will be Saturday, Feb. 3, from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church with funeral services following at 1pm. There will be a private burial service, arranged by Heritage Funeral Home, Battlefield Parkway.
He is survived by Sandra Brewer, his wife of 14 years; James L. and Vicki Brewer, his parents; and his children, Danielle Swindell (Tyler); Carly Brewer, and James L. Brewer, III. He is also survived by his stepdaughters Christina Phillips and Caitlyn Miller, grandchildren Paige and Brooke Swindell; his sisters, Kira (Warren) Headlee, Vija (Ron) Long; nieces Jessica (Marc) Arellano, and Jamie Rossman; two grand-nieces, one step-niece, two step-nephews, three step-grand-nephews; Crystelle Stringer, his mother-in-law, and Craig Stringer, his brother-in-law.
To know Jim Brewer was to know a man who gave back to the Chattanooga community all the time – whether through Brewer Media sponsorships or providing hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising to raise awareness and prevention of domestic violence.
Known for firing up a monstrous grill and barbecuing racks of ribs and wings, his passion for making people happy through food extended to his Brewer Media colleagues as well as cooking competitions such as the World Food Championship.
In Jim’s world, there were no strangers, only friends. Nearly since the dawn of Facebook, Jim turned his cancer journey into an opportunity to increase awareness. That is, when he wasn’t bragging about the successes of friends, associates and family members. He was known to punctuate many of his social media posts with his favorite phrase of joy, “Hell Yeah!”
Jim served as chair for numerous charitable organizations over his career. In 2011 Brewer Media earned the accolade of Corporate Philanthropist of the Year, which brought him much joy. The Advertising Federation awarded him the Silver Medallion in 2012. There were many years when Brewer Media stations provided more than $1 million in media support for non-profits in Chattanooga and he and his family took pride that the stations are locally owned and operated.
Always giving back and thinking of others, he wrote Sandra to let his family know his wishes of how he wanted his friends and family to celebrate his life. While radio stations may measure their success in numbers of listeners and reach, it wasn’t the number of friends Jim had that mattered most to him. Rather, it was the quality of the friendship and the pure enjoyment of spending time with others. He was known to line up out-of-town adventures for both family and friends and loved to travel. Jim, a lover of animals, was known to spoil the Brewers’ dog, Holly B.
When he shared his wishes on how his friends and family could best celebrate his life – he used the word ‘upbeat’ twice and wanted loved ones to plan a celebration. Include his favorite music, he instructed, the ones he saved on his computer, his iPad, his iPod. Some of his favorite songs were: “Beautiful Day,” by U-2; and “I Can Only Imagine,” by MercyMe.
“I’ve done a lot for a lot of people and I think they should be proud and positive.” That’s what Jim hoped for. He signed his note to Sandra, “Love you… fingers crossed for a great day!”
Music always rocked Jim’s world, from the time he began his radio career in high school in programming until his last weekend, when his family played his favorite tunes for him. His favorite role was D.J. – his on-air persona unforgettable: Jim Foxx, the Foxx that Rocks, a name that stuck over the years.
When he was 28 years old, Jim became the General Manager for WJTT FM – Power 94. In 2003, WJTT ranked as one of the top 5 urban radio stations in the nation for converting ratings to revenue. Jim was always proud of his Brewer Media family –many of whom were there from the beginning. Jim served on the board of the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters and addressed the National Association of Broadcasters at the annual convention on Internet/Radio synergy.
In 2008, Brewer Media purchased the weekly newspaper known as The Pulse. In June 2009, they launched 105.1 ESPN. Jim was a fan of many sports and enjoyed broadcasting Lookouts baseball games on ESPN. Other stations include Groove 93.5, Big 95.3, and Easy 106.9.
Jim Brewer was born in Tell City, Indiana, and was President of Tell City High School class of 1979 where he was an award-winning swimmer. Before the radio business brought him to Chattanooga, he attended the University of Cincinnati.
Jim built a media stronghold in Chattanooga and helped a number of people along the way. He recently had his many Facebook photos – his favorites – printed into a book with many photos featuring family, Ironman pro athletes who stayed at their home during race weekends, friends and cooking competitions.
His children and Sandra, his wife, were his whole world, and he made sure to live life to the fullest every day with them – holidays especially. His genuine love of his family and friends was well known and it was common to see Jim driving with his convertible top down, his favorite music cranked up. All who knew him will miss him tremendously, but should be at peace
Memorial donations can be made to the Oral Cancer Foundation Chattanooga or The Partnership for Families, Children and Youth, specifically the Domestic Violence prevention program.