ESTHERVILLE - Funeral services for James Whitehouse, 83, of Estherville will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012, at First Presbyterian Church in Estherville with Pastor Don Johnson officiating. Visitation will be 5-8 p.m. Friday at Henry-Olson Funeral Chapel in Estherville. Interment will be at East Side Memorial Cemetery in Estherville with military graveside rites by VFW Post 3388 and American Legion Post 91 of Estherville.
He died Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012, at Rosewood Manor in Estherville.
James Elroy Whitehouse, the son of Vernon and Maytie Irene (Doty) Whitehouse, was born Dec. 3, 1928, in Booth Township, Palo Alto County.
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, Ala. 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, S.D. 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 as well as playing 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; six great-grandchildren and 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.
Online condolences may be sent to www.henryolsonfuneral.com.