ESTHERVILLE -- Funeral service for James Whitehouse was Saturday, Jan. 7, at the First Presbyterian Church in Estherville. Pastor Don Johnson officiated.
Burial was in East Side Memorial Cemetery, Estherville. Military rites were conducted at the grave site by members of VFW Post 3388 and American Legion 91, Estherville. The Henry-Olson Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
James Elroy Whitehouse, the son of Vernon and Maytie Irene (Doty) Whitehouse, was born Dec. 3, 1928, in Booth Township, Palo Alto County, IA. He died on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012, at Rosewood Manor in Estherville, at age 83.
Jim graduated from Ringsted High School in 1946, and then enlisted in the Army. As an Army Surveyor, he helped build Whittier Air Force Base in Anchorage, AK. Jim also received the World War II Victory Medal.
On Sept. 3, 1950, he was united in marriage to Hermina Harvey in Gruver. Jim lived all his life farming in Emmet County, where he was one of the first to use minimum tillage. He went to work for Federal Crop Insurance in 1967, and became District Director in 1980.
On March 1, 1975, he married Georgia Wiertzema in Sioux Falls, SD. The couple made their home in the Estherville area. Jim also was employed by Wayne Feeds and Graves Grain Company in Gruver.
Jim played on many baseball teams starting in his youth. He played in high school, on a U.S. Army Team, and on various town teams, including the Fairmont Martins and Estherville Prides. He also played American Legion ball for Estherville, Bancroft, and Ringsted. He attended training camp for a farm team for the New York Yankees. It was said that Jim would rather play baseball than eat or sleep.
Jim was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Gruver and most recently in Estherville, Toastmasters, Farm Bureau, and Estherville Saddle Club. He was President of Lincoln Central PTO, emcee of Estherville Beauty Pageants, and assisted with the Emmet County Ag Show. Jim was a member of American Legion Post 91, and served in the Color Guard. He was also a speaker for Estherville and Armstrong Memorial Day Celebrations and preached as Lay Pulpit Supply.
He is survived by his wife, Georgia of Estherville; his children, Patricia Hansen, Lorene (Bruce) Dykstra, Susan (Max) Strube, Norman (Cindy) Whitehouse, and Darlene (David) Donovan; nine grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Also surviving are sisters, Bonnie Baker and JoAnne Prescott.
Preceding Jim in death were his parents; his father-in-law Harry Wiertzema, Sr.; brother Robert Whitehouse; sister Janice Nielsen; nephews Roger Prescott, Douglas Nielsen, and Jeffrey Whitehouse; brothers-in-law Glendon Prescott and Harry Wiertzema, Jr.; and great-grandchild Natalie Winslow.