James J. Flood’49 died on Nov. 22, 2013, at home on Mercer Island, Wash., at age 90. Jim and his wife, Joan Dahlquist Flood’47, are the “Floods of the Flood,” as they were introduced during one of their campus visits—the namesakes of the Flood Arena in the Beloit College Sports Center.
Jim came to Beloit on a scholarship after graduating from East High School in Rockford, Ill., and serving as a decorated pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He and Joan met as students in Beloit’s cafeteria and were married for 62 years, until Joan’s death in 2010.
His business career began in Rockford, but in the early 1960s, the Floods moved to Anchorage, Alaska, where Jim managed the Alaska Brick Company, a major supplier of building materials. Later, he was president of Wien Air Alaska, and also led Virgo Investments, a venture capital company. He never fully retired.
In the 1980s, Jim and Joan gave $1 million toward the construction of the Sports Center, completed in 1986. In 2007, when the building needed upgrades, the Flood’s gift made possible improvements to locker rooms, and the sound system, scoreboard, and arena floor. Their generosity and civic engagement extended to other areas of Beloit College and to their community in Anchorage.
Jim served on the Beloit College board of trustees from 1984 to 1993, when he became a life trustee. The Alumni Association gave him its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Citation, in 1989. He was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
Survivors include a daughter, Jody Peetz, three grandchildren, including grandson Brooks Riendl’99, a brother-in-law, Bill Dahlquist’51, and four great-grandchildren.