James L. Lynde, MD

Class Year



Posted on: November 20, 2017

Dr. James Lawrence Lynde passed away after a brief illness on November 1, 2017 at the age of 84. He is survived by his wife, Shirley, his brother Robert Harrington Lynde of Jacksonville, Fla., five children, twelve grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Born November 29, 1932, in Tacoma Park, Md., Jim was the oldest son of Ethel Frances Harrington and Walter Leland Lynde. He grew up in Alexandria, Va., and graduated Randolph-Macon College Phi Beta Kappa in 1953, and the Medical College of Virginia in 1957.

Following his medical internship, Jim married Shirley Ross Sutherland of Richmond on April 26, 1958, and as newlyweds they moved to Honolulu, where Jim served three years in the United States Air Force as a general practice physician and a radiology officer. The latter led to a three year radiology residency at Wake Forest’s Bowman Gray School of Medicine, and a one year radiology fellowship at the University of Virginia.

In 1966, after short practice stints in Winchester and Charlotte, Jim and Shirley (declaring this to be “the last move”), settled in Lynchburg to join Radiology Consultants where he practiced general radiology for 30 years. He was chairman of Lynchburg General’s Department of Radiology from 1980-1988.

At age 64, inspired by his friendship with Dr. Lazlo Tabar of Sweden and his confirmation of the real benefits of full-time mammographers and the subspecialty of breast imaging, Jim left Radiology Consultants to create Comprehensive Breast Imaging, a full-time breast imaging practice first in Lynchburg, then Bedford. He practiced at Roanoke’s Carilion Clinic Breast Care Center as well. Consistent practice accuracy and efficiency led to the detection of many hundreds of hidden cancers, plus a role in Tabar’s nationwide teaching seminars. These latter year achievements proved sources of true personal and professional satisfaction.

Jim was a fellow of the American College of Radiology. His study of low cost screening mammography was published in the Southern Medical Journal in 1993. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Randolph-Macon College in 2003. After 59 years of medical practice, Jim retired in 2016 at the age of 83.

Equal to his dedication to medicine was Jim’s devotion to Sutherland, the home he and Shirley designed, built, cultivated and nurtured for 44 years. Across four decades, clearing the woods of underbrush, seeding meadows, laying brick walkways, stacking stone walls and the like became his spare time pursuits — all accomplished by himself and by hand (and beloved tractor). Jim cut all the grass, too. From the grace of a gate post to the curve of the serpentine wall to the vista of a lake nestled between the hills, Sutherland reflects not just years of painstaking attention and hard work, but Jim’s keen eye for architectural line and balance. The home is a testament to his and Shirley’s regard for fine craftsmanship, high personal standards, and love for the land and history of Bedford County. Sutherland has been featured in Lynchburg’s Historic Garden Week, as well as in Southern Accents and Veranda. Happiest on his tractor, Jim continued working his land several hours a day throughout his retirement up until the day before his illness.

Jim was a member of St John’s Episcopal Church for more than 50 years, devoted alumnus of Randolph-Macon College, and supporter of scores of charitable organizations with particular focus on those providing food and healthcare. He was also a charter member of The Merlot Club.

In lieu of flowers, please consider memorials in Jim’s name to Randolph-Macon College’s Science Center at 114 College Ave., Ashland, VA, 23005; Westminster Canterbury Foundation at 501 V.E.S. Road, Lynchburg, 24503; or, Lynchburg Daily Bread at 721 Clay Street, Lynchburg, 24504.