SEATLE, Wash. — James ‘Jim’ Joseph Hirtzel, 82, passed from this life into the presence of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ while surrounded by his loving family on April 30, 2013 in Seattle, Wash. He was born January 2, 1931 to William ‘Bill’ and Lucy (Neville) Hirtzel in Redfield, being the 3rd of 4 children. Robert, Richard, James and Mary lost their mother to cancer in 1939. In 1943, Bill married Bethel Smith who affectionately cared for these 4 children and blessed Bill with another son, Donald in 1946.
Jim attended schools in Redfield where he graduated high school in 1949 at the top of his class. Earning an academic scholarship, he attended college in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He then joined the U.S. Navy in 1950 and was stationed off the coast of Korea. Upon his return to the states, he married Connie Cagley. At the age of 24 Jim purchased a 160 acre dairy farm in Onalaska where they made their home. Daughter Marla was born in 1955, followed by daughter Tamme in 1958.
Shirley Davis came into Jim’s life and they were married on December 7, 1974. Jim welcomed Shirley’s two daughters, Teri and Lisa, with loving arms, formally adopting them before they graduated high school. After waiting many years and having four daughters, Jim was finally blessed with a son, James Joseph, Jr. in 1977.
Jim was a man of great faith. He had a quiet strength that would comfort many in their time of need. He enjoyed sports; playing in his younger years, watching his children and grandchildren participate and catching as many as he could on the radio or TV. Our dedicated patriarch, whom we all put on a pedestal, was the most humble man we will ever know. Always a dairy farmer, Jim also drove the Onalaska School Bus years ago, served on the Onalaska Fire District, was a devoted member of the community churches, voluntarily counseled troubled kids at Maple Lane and worked as security guard at Mayfield Dam with his great friend of 63 years, Ira Turner.
Preceded in death by his parents and grandson Cameron Mezek, Jim is survived by his adoring wife, Shirley; four siblings; five children; nine grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews and many, many friends.
A Memorial Service will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at Shoestring Valley Community Church, Onalaska. A potluck reception will follow. Arrangements are under the direction of Sticklin Funeral Chapel, Centralia.
For the complete article see the 05-08-2013 issue.
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