Jim passed away peacefully on December 30, 2012 in his home in Palmer Lake, Colorado. A Celebration of Life service will be held on February 9, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at the Palmer Lake Town Hall, 28 Valley Crescent, Palmer Lake. Jim was born in Carmi, Illinois on December 24, 1928 and moved to Monument, Colorado at age 15. He graduated from Lewis Palmer High School in 1946--working for the Monument ice house and two railroads--before marrying Fern Wissler on April 4, 1948 and starting a career as a home builder. He had been offered an appointment to Annapolis, but this did not fit his independent spirit. Jim built his first house in Limon, Colorado, with only a handful of tools and his wife as his helper. He taught himself to build a house largely by visiting a neighboring house under construction at the time. He went on to teach himself draftsmanship, and drew most of the house plans for the homes he built. Jim would go on to build well over 100 homes around the Front Range. Jim was an avid gardener and spent his retirement years providing a lush array of vegetables for family, friends and neighbors. He could rarely be dragged away from his greenhouse for a fishing trip or visit to friend or family. He kept accurate records of precipitation for years. He and Fern took an extended trip around the United States after his retirement, from which he brought back many interesting stories. Jim was a member of the Palmer Lake Volunteer Fire Department for 26 years. He also served on the Palmer Lake Town Council and the Lewis Palmer School Board. He is survived by his wife, Fern and children Jim (Larkspur), Merri (Crawford), Jeff (Carbondale), Dan (Littleton), Susan Yoder (Monument), Dave (Longmont) and Jon (Aurora); as well as his brother, Bob (West Virginia), sixteen grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his son, Mark and brother, Bill. Jim blessed many lives with his craftsmanship, his jokes, stories and generosity. He was a great example to his children for his honesty and independent spirit. He will be missed by all who knew him.
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Published in The Gazette on Jan. 6, 2013