James E. "Jim" Wirtz



April 9, 1943 - August 20, 2023

Services for James Wirtz  were held on Monday September 4, 2023 at the First United Methodist Church in Emmetsburg, Iowa. Rev. Kolleen  Queener was the officiant. Inurnment is in Evergreen Cemetery in Emmetsburg.

James E. (Jim) Wirtz was born on April 9, 1943 in Rodman, Iowa, the son of Fred and Dolly (Sloan) Wirtz.   He received his grade school education at West Bend and moved to Mallard at the start of his sophomore year. Jim graduated from Mallard High School in 1961. It was there, at the beginning of his senior year, that Jim met the love of his life, Donna Hughes. They were married on September 19, 1964.

After attending Emmetsburg Junior College and Wayne State College, Jim was employed in the J.C. Penney management program in Omaha before moving to Emmetsburg in May of 1965. He joined Hughes Insurance which became Hughes, Brennan, and Wirtz Insurance in 1966. Jim retired from the agency in January of 2018 after 52 years.

Jim was elected to the 64 th General Assembly of the Iowa Legislature in 1970 at the age of 27. As a freshman legislator, he served on the Commerce Committee, the Conservation Committee, and the Law Enforcement Committee. He was an active member of the state association of the Independent Insurance Agents of Iowa and served as the president of the organization in 1993 to 1994. One of his proudest moments was when his son and business partner, Scott, served as the president 29 years later.

Jim was also active in community affairs and was involved in the Emmetsburg Chamber of Commerce, the Kiwanis, and the Emmetsburg Jaycees. He was in several productions at Mainstreet Community Theater. Jim was a founding member of the Emmetsburg Education Foundation and remained a part of this organization for 25 years.

Jim had a personality that was bigger than life and he never met a stranger. He had a quick wit and a strong sense of humor and would often be ready with a joke or funny story to share. Jim surrounded himself with fun and he made sure that those who were with him had fun too. He read about and shared the history of Palo Alto County and appreciated friendly banter about politics and current events. Jim enjoyed life.

Jim was a devoted family man and was exceptionally proud of his children. He was an interested and involved grandfather, often attending the events of his 9 grandchildren and calling to get updates about their work and school. He was delighted by their achievements.

Jim passed away on August 20, 2023. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters and brothers- in-law, Jean and Roy Reeves and Mary and Duane Hanson, his brother, Al Wirtz, son-in-law Mark Lindgren, and in-laws Cliff and Jeanette Hughes. Left to cherish his memory is his wife of 59 years, Donna, his daughters Nancy Lindgren of Stanton, Iowa; and Jill (B.J.) Schany of Emmetsburg, Iowa; his son, Scott (Heather) of Emmetsburg, Iowa; and grandsons Jake (Sadie) Lindgren and Sam Lindgren of Stanton, Iowa, Will Schany and Nick Schany of West Des Moines, Iowa; Bradley, Matt, Justin and Ryan Wirtz and granddaughter Abbie Schany of Emmetsburg, Iowa;  his sister and brother-in-law Jane and John Hartman of Cedar Falls, Iowa; and sister-in-law, Eileen Wirtz of Carroll, Iowa.

Arrangements by Martin-Mattice Funeral Home