James “Jim” Birch
James “Jim” Birch was born to Rita Mae Goetzinger and Carroll Harlan Birch on November 29, 1947 in Carroll, IA. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Carroll, IA. Here, he also attended St. Joseph’s and Kuemper Catholic High School.
After high school, Jim went on to serve in Vietnam for the United States Navy from 1966 to 1970 on the USS England. After being honorably discharged from the Navy, Jim worked for Garst Seed Company in Coon Rapids, IA for 25 plus years. He then worked at Myrtue Medical Center in Harlan, IA; Concerned Inc. in Harlan, IA; and Elm Crest Retirement Community in Harlan, IA. Jim loved his job so much that he worked until the age of 74, and worked up until March of 2022 when his health began to decline. Jim continuously asked his doctors at each appointment until two months before his passing when he could return to work.
Jim was united in marriage to the love of his life, Jennifer Ann, on May 6, 1995 in Carroll, IA. Their love story was a unique one to say the least. They met when Jennifer was his sisters babysister at the age of 10 yrs old. When she reached the age of 18, they began their love story. They parted ways only to have fate reconnect them in 1994. With their age difference many told them it would never last, but they spent 28 wonderful years together. Together they have three children, Zachary, Theresa, and Paige. Another great love in his life were his furry children Toby and Marlee Mae. Marlee was his constant companion and by his side during his illness during this last year.
Jim had many hobbies including; fishing, reading, crossword puzzles, casinos, television (especially the Weather Channel), playing cards, and anything Holocaust or history related. He was known to have an avid lifelong coffee addiction. Jim was always joking and playing pranks. This usually involved sneaking up on people, hiding things and general orneryness in all shapes and forms. Jim loved people - all people. He thoroughly loved spending time with the elderly generation. Jim had a special love for his 1969 Road Runner and his 1980 Monte Carlo. One of his favorite activities was having father and daughter days with Theresa spent in the City doing his favorite things involving IHOP, Barnes and Noble, and a movie.
Jim passed away, surrounded by his wife and children, on January 3, 2023, attaining the age of 75 years, 1 month and 5 days. He was preceded in death by his parents, Rita Mae Goetzinger and Carroll Harlan Birch; and his brother, John “Jack” Birch.
He is survived by his wife, Jennifer Birch of Harlan, IA; children, Zachary Birch (Karissa Tafoya) of Chandler, AZ, Theresa Birch of Ankeny, IA, and Paige Lee (Spencer Krohn) of Des Moines, IA; siblings, Mary Reineke of Panora, IA, Dan (Donna) Birch of Altoona, IA, and Melissa (Bob) Golden of Harlan, IA; 2 grandchildren, Jacob and Chloe Birch, many other family members, and an abundance of friends.
A 1:00 PM Funeral Service was officiated by Rev. Clement Owusu on Monday, January 9, 2023 at Pauley Jones Funeral Home in Harlan, Iowa. Andy Birch, Austin Juergens, Rob Golden, Joshua Cox, Alex Juergens, Douglas Golden, Charles Hansen, and Justin Birch served as honorary casket bearers.
Pauley Jones Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.