James “Jim” Hemrich, 69, of Waterloo, Iowa, passed away on Sunday, May 2, 2021, at Unity Point Health Allen Memorial Hospital.
James Bernard Hemrich was born on February 18, 1952, to loving parents, Joseph and Irene (Gaffey) Hemrich. Born in Osage, Iowa Jim spent his happy childhood years in Stewartville, Minnesota where he enjoyed playing sports of every kind and hung out with the tight-knit pack of neighborhood kids, fished the river, skated the frozen lakes, played war in the woods, walked to school and back each day, raised numerous dogs, cats and rabbits. In his teens, his family relocated to Grundy Center, IA where he finished high school.
Jim worked at Iowa Spokesman Press and the Grundy Register newspaper for many years where he was sports journalist, editor, and photographer. His talents and keen eye, his use of imagery, and his way with the written word were admired by everyone who read his frequent columns. He traveled to many high school games and tournaments in the region and elevated the athletes and play-by-play action to distinction with his vivid, lively prose.
He became a beloved reader at Sacred Heart Catholic Church for many years and taught Catechism there as well. He was also a member of St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church.
Jim’s well-read intelligence and command of the spoken word were sources of inspiration and respect to all who knew him. As was his caring heart and attentive desire to listen to others. He loved reading above all else and did so voraciously, loved classic war movies, classic rock music, writing letters in longhand, and collecting sports memorabilia.
In recent years, due to numerous health issues, he made his home at Pillar of Cedar Valley in Waterloo.
He is survived by his loving sister Candace from Stockton, CA. He is preceded in death by his mother Irene, Father Joseph, his grandparents, and many beloved aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Memorial services for Jim will be held at 10:30 am on Saturday, May 15, 2021, at St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church located at 21275 U Avenue, Reinbeck, IA 50669 with Father David Kucera officiating. Public visitation will be held one hour prior to services. Due to the pandemic and to keep everyone safe, masks are required before entering the church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed in Jim’s name to his family which will be later designated elsewhere. For further information or to send a condolence please visit www.abelsfuneralhomes.com. Abels Funeral Home French Hand Chapel is caring for Jim and his family.