James Gaunt
1948 - 2018
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James Gaunt

Ames - James (Jim) Arthur Gaunt, 69, of Ames passed away June 9, at Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames. The funeral service will be at 1:30 pm Saturday, June 16, at First Christian Church, 611 Clark Street in Ames. Visitation will be 5-7 pm Friday, June 15, at Adams Funeral Home in Ames. Burial will be in the Ames Municipal Cemetery.

James was born December 6, 1948 in Waterbury, Connecticut to John and Iola (James) Gaunt. James was married to Cynthia Jane Quinn on October 22, 1983 at First Christian Church in Ames. To them were born two children, Sarah and Richard.

James received his Bachelor's degree from the University of Connecticut in 1970 and his Master's Degree from Iowa State University in 1971. He worked as an analytical chemist, adjunct instructor and as Manager of the Environmental Engineering Research Laboratory in the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering for Iowa State University for 39 years, retiring in December 2010. Collaborations with his colleagues resulted in his co-authoring around a dozen peer-reviewed publications, and in 2005, he was the recipient of the Dean's Staff Excellence Award in the College of Engineering.

He was a very active member of First Christian Church in Ames, serving in numerous leadership and teaching roles. He served in a leadership capacity in AMOS (A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy), an organization committed to social justice, and he volunteered in county politics and with Food at First in Ames. James was a Scout Master of Boy Scout Troop 196, a Story County Master Gardener, and an Ames Impact Track Club coach. He volunteered as a firefighter for the Westory Fire Agency in Gilbert, Iowa, and he received the Governor's Volunteer Award. He enjoyed working with his hands whether it was woodworking, leatherwork, gardening or pie baking. He loved to read but most of all enjoyed learning and spreading his knowledge.

James is survived by his wife Cynthia of Ames; daughter, Sarah Gaunt of Ames; son, Richard (Brittney) Gaunt of Omaha, Nebraska; and two grandchildren, Arthur and Rosemary.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his Aunt Natalie and Uncle Stanley Payne.

Memorials may be addressed to First Christian Church in Ames or Food At First in Ames.

Online condolences may be left at adamssoderstrum.com

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in the Des Moines Register on Jun. 13, 2018.
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4 entries
May 8, 2019
Jim Gaunt lived here 1971-2
I was in Chem grad school with Jim in the early 70's at ISU. We were house mates for about 2 years - photo of house [and me], but I could not find one of him - sorry. He would work on his car in the pictured garage. He had a canoe he carried around on top of his car. [I have a photo of that if anyone would like.] He was always a pleasure to be around, honest smile, honest guy. Best to his family.
Jim Meiners
June 13, 2018
I will miss our political discussions. Jimmy served politically as a mayor, and he was also in the ROTC at the University of Connecticut. We took a ten mile overnight hike together and had long conversations, then and later.

From Uncle Jack
Jack Heitner
June 13, 2018
I worked with Jim many years at ISU. He was a gentle, kind, unassuming man. So sorry to learn of his passing.
Bill Diesslin
June 12, 2018
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