Longtime CSU professor James Brewbaker dies during trip to Chicago

James Martin Brewbaker, a professor in the College of Education and Health Professions at Columbus State University for 44 years, died Wednesday in Chicago after falling ill with cardiac arrest on his way to the airport. He was 75.

His life will be celebrated at a 10:30 a.m. Wednesday memorial service at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Columbus with the Rev. Grace Burton-Edwards officiating. After the service, a reception will follow in the parish hall.

Brewbaker had fallen down in the street in an area known as the Magnificent Mile on Michigan and Walton avenues around 2:20 p.m. Tuesday.

Two officers, Sergio Valdez and Michael Lawrence, were on routine bike patrol when a woman flagged them down for help. Valdez said they rushed to the area and Lawrence started chest compressions while he directed traffic in the street.

Valdez said he also assisted Lawrence in helping to clear Brewbaker’s air way before the ambulance arrived and he was stabilized. He was transported to Northwestern Hospital in Chicago.

“He did make it to the hospital and ultimately was not able to recover from a cardiac arrest,” said Rogers Brewbaker, his son of Newnan, Ga.

The professor and his wife of 45 years, Rinda, had just completed a wonderful weekend of six plays and traveled a lot, he said. Brewbaker still taught one course during most semesters at the university, and he also edited Innovation, a magazine of the College of Education and Health Professions.

During his tenure, he molded the careers of hundreds of English teachers who educate students in the Columbus area.

He was born in Charlottesville, Va., in 1939 to the late James Martin Brewbaker and Barbara Bailey Brewbaker. He earned a bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Virginia.

In addition to wife, Rinda, and son, Rogers, survivors include son, James Martin Brewbaker III of Orlando, Fla., three granddaughters and a great-grandson.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to his memory to St. Thomas Episcopal Church where he was a member since the early 1970s, the Wynnton Neighborhood Network, Chattahoochee Valley Episcopal Ministry or the College of Education and Health Professions designation within the Columbus State Foundation.