Cover photo for James 'Jim' Henry Erwin's Obituary
James 'Jim' Henry Erwin Profile Photo
1932 James 2022

James 'Jim' Henry Erwin

January 1, 1932 — August 13, 2022



     James Henry Erwin, was born to Henry and Alberta (Luth) Erwin on January 1, 1932 in Concord, Nebraska. He grew up on the family farm with his four brothers and three sisters. The hard work of farming in that era and the Christian faith of his parents helped shape the man he became. After high school, he enlisted in the US Army and served honorably during the Korean War, operating heavy earth-moving equipment, primarily in Europe. During his military service, he also played basketball with a team that traveled from base to base playing exhibition games. His skills eventually earned him a scholarship to play basketball at Morningside College after his return to the states. 

     On August 26, 1955, he married his sweetheart Mareen Gunderson in Sioux City, Iowa. Together they raised their four children, first in Sioux City and later in Spencer, Iowa. Jim graduated from Morningside College in 1959. Following graduation, he worked for the Parks and Recreation Department in Sioux City until 1967, when he moved the family to Spencer and accepted a position selling supplies to school districts in Northwest Iowa – a job he held for 30 years. After “retirement,” he worked for the Spencer School District and later for Johnston Auto Supply.

     Jim enjoyed swimming, water skiing, hunting, fishing and sports of every kind. He taught himself to play golf in his 20’s and golf became his favorite pastime well into his 80’s. He was a longtime member of First Baptist Church in Spencer and served as a deacon, trustee, teacher and in several other capacities through the years. His faith was firmly planted in the person and finished work of Jesus Christ and his life reflected a desire to obey his Lord and to walk uprightly before God and man.

     His family and friends will long remember his portfolio of moderately amusing old-school Dad Jokes (each one made worthwhile by his dry delivery and satisfied grin at the punch line). He was a good story teller and had some harrowing tales from his youth that kept the grandkids riveted, including having survived a plane crash in France and a tornado back on the farm, while cultivating a field with a team of horses. When he and his brothers got together back in the day to reminisce about their childhood days in small-town Nebraska, there was never a room anywhere so engulfed in waves of laughter or so filled with young faces hungry for the next absurd or heartwarming tale to be spun. He was known to many nieces and nephews as the world’s greatest water skiing instructor. He was known to many friends as a welcome companion on the golf course, always good-tempered, eager to please and to be pleased. He was divinely gifted with a patient and generous spirit. He was an encourager and a peacemaker all his days.

     Jim passed quietly from this life on August 13, 2022 in Spencer, Iowa and entered with joy into the presence of God, forever free from sin, disease, tears and sorrow.

      He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters Ardyce Linn, Marcia Young and Barbara Erwin; brothers Bill and Wylie; brother-in-law Edward Linn; sister-in-law Dorothy (Wiese) Erwin; daughter-in-law Lynn (Filloon) Erwin; and granddaughter Adelaide Erwin.

     Left to cherish his memory and benefit from his Godly influence are his wife, Mareen Erwin of Spencer, IA; his children Tim and Deena (Krehlik) Erwin of Orange City, IA; Todd of Morton, IL; Dick and Cindy Speed of Sergeant Bluff, IA; Jeff and Julie Bates of Morton, IL; Fourteen grandchildren; Sixteen great-grandchildren; One great-great-grandchild; other extended family members; and many friends.

Memorial services will be held at 11:00 A.M., Saturday, August 20, 2022 at the First Baptist Church in Spencer.

In lieu of flowers, the family request making a donation to your favorite charity in memory of Jim.
Pastor Curt Batschelet
Will be held one hour prior to the Memorial Service at the First Baptist Church in Spencer.
Riverside Cemetery
Spencer, Iowa
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James 'Jim' Henry Erwin, please visit our flower store.


Visits: 58

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree