Jim Schuessler peacefully passed away from congestive heart failure at his home on May 2, 2019, surrounded by his wife, family and friends. Jim was 83 years old.
Jimmie Dean was born on December 16, 1935, in Waukee, Iowa to John Howard and Gladys Schuessler. Jim was raised in rural Johnston with three brothers: Vernon, David and Elwood and two sisters: Barbara and Beverly. Jim attended Johnston High School, where he was Senior Class President and participated in all sports. Jim joined the Iowa National Guard at the age of 17 and continued 16 years of service, rising up in the ranks to Captain.
While attending Johnston High, Jim met Janet Elwell. They were married a year after graduation on November 26, 1955. Jim and Janet started their life together and lived in Johnston. They both worked in the family business, Elwell Family Grocery Store. In 1958 they moved to the town of Alleman where they owned and operated a grocery store on Main Street. While in Alleman they had four children: Vernon, Kimberly, Paula and Darcy. Five years later they were blessed with the arrival of Douglas.
In 1966 the family moved to their farm house on Hwy 210 outside of Slater. Jim continued to work in the grocery stores and managed the store in Madrid. Jim and Janet raised their kids on the farm while Jim farmed with the Elwell family. Jim also was a O’sGold Corn dealer. In 1982 Jim and Janet bought Elwell’s Restaurant. They owned and operated three Elwell’s Restaurants in Ankeny and Ames. All of their kids and other extended family members worked for Jim and Janet throughout their 23 years in the restaurant business.
Jim was very involved with his children’s activities. He served as School Board President for Ballard Community High School for 11 years and was a long standing member of Salem United Church of Christ in Alleman.
After Jim and Janet retired for the third time they attended their grandchildren’s events, spent time at their winter home in Florida and made annual summer trips to Minnesota. They also took several trips with family members around the country. In 2004 Jim and Janet moved to the Elwell Home Place north of Alleman and continued the family tradition of Sunday Night Spaghetti Dinners.
Jim was a life long fisherman. He enjoyed building projects with his sons, working, his English Shire Draft Horse team, and traveling with Carousel Farms Draft Horses.
Jim is survived by his wife of 64 years, Janet, Four children: Vernon Schuessler and his children Lucas and Josephine; Kimberly and Tim Manning and their children Blake, Danny, Garrett, Bryce and Madeline; Paula Eichinger and Scott Sievers and their children Jenna, Jaryd, Taylor and Clinton; Darcy and Glenn Gill and their daughters McClane, Macy and Meredith. Their fifth child, Douglas Schuessler, and his wife Maria, proceeded Jim in death, living on are their children Madison, Jimmie, Sheridan and Landon. Jim also has four great granddaughters: Keeley, Lennox, Sloane and Blaire, along with numerous brother and sister-in-laws, nieces and nephews.
In addition to Doug and Maria Schuessler, other family members proceeding Jim in death include his parents Howard “Doc” and Gladys Schuessler, siblings: Vernon Schuessler, Elwood Schuessler, David Schuessler, Barbara Dowd and Beverly Horton, in-laws Jim and Margaret Elwell, brothers-in-laws Paul Elwell and Richard Elwell and sister-in-law Lynn Ann Elwell.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Kirk Peterson and Pastor Scott Valentine for their numerous, helpful, and thoughtful visits. We would also like to thank the many family and friends who reached out during Jim’s illness.
Jim was a devoted family man and he will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Funeral services were held Wednesday, May 8th, 2019, at Salem United Church of Christ, Alleman. Burial was in the Lincoln Township Cemetery, Alleman.