Funeral services for James Lesmeister of Cyrus will be held Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. at Assumption Catholic Church in Morris. Father Tim Baltes will be officiating. Visitation will be held Friday from 4 to 8 with a prayer service at 7:30 at the Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris and for one hour prior to services at the church on Saturday. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery in Morris.
James Edward (Big Jim) Lesmeister, son of Zeno and Ida (Jost) Lesmeister, was born Oct. 17, 1933, in rural Morris Township, Stevens County. He attended St. Mary's school through the 7th grade when he began working on the farm for his brother Leonard and Rudy Raths. Before opening Jim's Machine Shop west of Morris in 1961, he was employed by Matt Lesmeister at his machining shop. He operated the business until 1980 when he sold it to sons, Ken and Jerry. He then started Jiffy Crane Service and Construction until 1990. He continued working for Brothers' Industries until the time of his retirement in1998. Jim served as a volunteer for the Morris Fire Department for 25 years (1962-87). He was a member of the Morris Eagles, and a life-long member of the 9-F Sportsman's Club.
He was united in marriage to Laverna Rinkenberger on Sept. 22, 1952 at Assumption Parish in Morris. To this union six children were born: Ken (Diane), Jerry (Jane), Lois (Ace) Sperr, Joyce Ehalt, all of Morris, Vern (Lee) of Bloomington and Al (Patti) of Cyrus.
Jim was a self taught engineer/inventor of mechanical devices. He was a proficient ironsmith and had the natural ability to turn scrap steel into a working machine. He enjoyed fishing, golfing, gardening and canning, and helping on the Sperr farm.
Jim died on Monday, Oct. 25, 2010 at his home in Cyrus, having lived to reach the age of 77 years.
Jim is survived by special friend Carol VanderWeyst, his children, and grandchildren: Troy, Tiffany, Kim, Nic, Matt, Kristin, Adam, Sarah, Rachel, Howard, Marilyn, Emily, Molly, Adrienne, Anthony, Michael, Tyler, Kandice, and Cody, and six great-grandchildren. Jim's surviving siblings are brother Gene (Katie), and sisters Helen Staples, Joan Hanrahan, Irene (Ben) Sauter, Dorothy Ascheman, and Deloris (Bob) Buhl. Brother-in-law Herb DeVaan and sisters-in-law Jeanne, Jackie, and Elsie. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Leonard (Florence), Roy (Alice), William, Richard, Bernard, and sisters Valeria Osterman, Loretta DeVaan, brothers-in-law Wally Staples, Dick Hanrahan, and Fritz Osterman and daughter-in-law Jeanne Lesmeister.
Pallbearers for the service are: Troy Lesmeister, Nicholas Lesmeister, Matthew Lesmeister, Adam Lesmeister, Michael Lesmeister, Tyler Lesmeister, Howard Sperr and Anthony Gardner. Honorary pallbearers are: Dan Jongeward and Arlen Raasch. Linda Hodgson will service as pianist for the service with Patty Nelson serving as soloist. Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris is in charge of the arrangements.
To send condolences to the family, visit www.peder senfh.com.