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James D. “Jim” Kurtzhals

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BRISTOW, Ind. — James D. “Jim” Kurtzhals, 87, died Nov. 15, 2021, at Jasper Memorial Hospital, Bristow, Ind.

A Mass of Christian Burial was Nov. 20 at St. Isidore Catholic Church, with burial in the church cemetery. Rev. Adrian Burke officiated. Visitation was Saturday at the church.

Huber Funeral Home, Tell City Chapel assisted the family with his arrangements.

Jim was born Dec. 20, 1933, in Coleridge, to Leonard and Clara (Janssen) Kurtzhals. He was a 1951 graduate of the former Coleridge High School. He worked the family farm with his father and brothers until 1954, when he entered the U.S. Army. Jim served as an aircraft mechanic in the United States and in northern Germany. Upon exiting the Army in 1956, Jim returned to the family farm for a short stint before departing for college in early 1957. Jim studied mechanical engineering at one of the top engineering schools of that era – Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy (now Missouri University of Science and Technology), where he graduated in 1961. Jim’s first engineering job was with Swift and Company in Calumet City, Ill. Jim also worked for Montgomery Ward, Ford Motor Company, and The Celotex Corporation while living in Illinois. A job transfer with The Celotex Corporation in April 1969 brought Jim to northern Indiana. Jim married Shirley A. Beaver, Michigan City, Ind., June 27, 1970. The couple soon settled in North Manchester, Ind. An engineering job with General Electric in Tell City brought Jim, Shirley, and their growing family to Perry County in 1978. While working for GE, Jim raised cattle on the Bristow farm, and maintained the family farm in Nebraska as well as the farm in North Manchester. Jim retired from GE in 1997.

Jim was an avid hunter and an expert marksman. He was proud of his long-standing memberships with the Knights of Columbus and the National Rifle Association. Jim was once a private pilot – taking lessons and earning his license at what is now Midway International Airport in Chicago, Ill.

Jim is survived by his wife, Shirley; and his children, Aaron Kurtzhals, Lincoln; Lisa Kurtzhals, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Kurt Kurtzhals, North Manchester, Ind.; Beth Shillington (Steve), Orion, Ill.; and Geory Kurtzhals, Bloomington, Ind; his grandchildren, Nicolas Shillington, Margaret Kurtzhals and Anna Kurtzhals; his brother, Leonard “Ole” Kurtzhals, Dallas, Texas; his sister, Kathi Maier, Papillion; his sister-in-law, Carol Kurtzhals, Yankton, S.D.; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

Preceding him in death, besides his parents, were a brother, Robert “Bob” Kurtzhals, in 2008; brother-in-law, Gene Maier, in 2000; sister-inlaw, Rita Kurtzhals, in 1996; and a grandson, Alexander Michael Shillington, in 2009.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Isidore Cemetery and/or the Building Fund.