James A. Maultsby, MD

Class Year



Posted on: January 19, 2021

Jim Maultsby left this earth to join so many of his loved ones in the everlasting life he was granted. Some called him a modern day disciple as he lived out his faith so naturally. To know him was to love and trust him. He held the welfare of others before his own, especially when it came to his family. He appreciated every gesture of friendship offered to him and he was always there when anyone needed him. He lived a life full of love, joy, and service, accomplishing so much. He was brilliant, creative, and thoughtful; a hero to many, a friend to all.

Jim grew up in eastern NC, graduating from Jacksonville High School. He spent three years at Wake Forest, then graduated from Bowman Gray School of Medicine in 1956. Jim served his internship in San Francisco and returned to the East Coast to serve as a Navy physician on the USS Cadmus and at the Portsmouth Navy Hospital from 1958-1960. He spent three years of his residency at the University of Virginia and finished his orthopedic residency in Chicago.

Dr. Maultsby became a pioneer in the field of thermography, a technique for evaluating and measuring pain levels. He began focusing on a more holistic approach to medicine, advocating strongly for the importance of daily exercise, inspiring many friends and family to join him.

Throughout his lifetime, Jim went on several mission trips that were dear to his heart. He volunteered with Pine Valley United Methodist Church and other medical mission trips and had a deep concern for those in need. He was the medical director for Saint Mary’s Health Care Center until his death.

Jim shared a life long love of coastal activities with beloved friends and family. He won several marathons and was hoping to compete at age 90. He was still going to the gym just weeks before he died.

Another love of Jim’s life was gardening. He inherited a green thumb from his mother, and enjoyed sharing his passion for plants with family, friends, and patients alike. He was always an educator who embraced every opportunity to share his knowledge and wisdom with any eager student with the hope of bringing to others the same joy he found in life.

In addition to education, Jim’s faith was a big part of who he was. Pine Valley United Methodist Church was at the center of his Christian family here in Wilmington. Jim enjoyed participating in many aspects of church life, music in particular brought him joy. Jim was well known for welcoming new friends, patients, and even strangers into his PVUMC community.

Jim will be sorely missed by so many, but especially by his loving wife Laurel Radner Maultsby of 40 years, and their sons and spouses: Laurence (Emily), Daniel (Karissa), and the four children and their spouses from his first marriage to Joan Propst Maultsby: Lisa Angell White (John), Cynthia Ross (Tim), Lex (Polly), Gary (Amy), 16 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. His brother Ken (Peggy), his two sisters; Ruth Coleman Best, and Ellen Williams (John), 10 nieces and nephews and their spouses, and many great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; Garland Eugene Maultsby and Eleanor Maultsby, his brother Gene (Kit), his brother in law Harry Coleman, and his niece Allison Coleman Nardi.

A celebration service of his life will be planned when it is once again safe to gather.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jim’s name to Nourish North Carolina, Pine Valley United Methodist Church, and the St Mary Health Center of Wilmington, NC.