James M. Lein, 73, Arlington area farmer for 48 years, died August 23, 2013, at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City of hypersensitivity pneumonitis.
James was born November 18, 1939, the son of Minard (MJ) and Mabelle (Wolfe) Lein in Des Moines, Iowa. He was baptized at St. John's Lutheran Church, Des Moines. The family moved to Graettinger where he completed 11th grade and then graduated from Valley High School, West Des Moines following the family's move back to the Des Moines area. He attended Iowa State University in Ames and was a veteran of the United States Army where he served as a Missile Engineer with the 166th Ordnance Corps. On July 23, 1967, he married Donna (Hay) Scherman at St. Mark's Lutheran in West Des Moines. The couple farmed in the Arlington area and raised pure breed sheep which they have done until the present.
Jim's childhood and youth were spent with much emphasis on the 4-H program and specifically competition with Holstein dairy cows at local, regional and state fairs. He continued his love of livestock and competition at fairs and consistently won champion awards in several sheep breeds. The Lein family earned Premier Exhibitor award over 30 times at midwest state fairs including the 2013 Iowa State Fair. This was the first fair Jim missed in over 70 years due to his health. In 1971, he was chosen Iowa State Fair Cookout King with his recipe and presentation of "Daddy's Drumsticks."
In the 1970's, he organized the RCO (Reroute Crude Oil) group of concerned farmers, soil scientists, engineers and a legal team who successfully changed the course of an oil pipeline that could have endangered the aquifer under northeast Iowa's rich farmland.
He served on Camp EWALU board at Strawberry Point for many years, guiding financial decisions and updating their Stone Center, where the couple celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Jim served on church councils at Zion Lutheran, Oelwein and Zion Lutheran, West Union.
Jim was appointed to the Iowa Sheep and Wool Promotion Board and the Department of Agriculture's Economic Development Board and was chairman of the Iowa Agriculture Products Advisory Council. He also served on the American Sheep Industry Wool Council. In 1988 he represented the US in a delegation to promote sheep and wool in Russia.
In 1991 Jim and Donna received the Farm Bureau Outstanding Service to Agriculture for Fayette County of which he was a member for 48 years. The Leins were selected for the Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award in 2012 to recognize their efforts as farmers to improve and protect the state's resources.
Jim was known to say: "tractors are green, pickups are red." He took pride in the restoration of his 1970 GMC 3/4 ton pickup with a stock rack.
Jim is survived by his wife, Donna of Arlington; three daughters, Shelley (Dean C. Paul) Lein of Vernon Hills, Illinois, Sarah (F. Joseph Umana) Lein of Apex, North Carolina, Susan Lein of Berea, Kentucky; one son, Nathan (Jamie) Lein of Oelwein; four grandchildren, Whitney and William Paul and Hans and Reuben Umana. He was preceded in death by his parents and a son, David.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 31, 2013, at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Waverly with burial in the church cemetery. Visitations will be held in Maynard from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, August 30, 2013, at the Jamison-Schmitz Funeral Home and for an hour prior to services at the church on Saturday.
Memorials can be made in Jim Lein's memory to:
Camp EWALU 37776 Alpha Ave Strawberry Point, IA 52076
St. Paul's Lutheran Church 112 2nd Ave NW Waverly, IA 50677
Jim Lein Fund for University of Iowa Pulmonary Research PO Box 4550 Iowa City, IA 52244-4550
Kaiser-Corson Funeral Home in Waverly is in charge of arrangements. 319-352-1187
Read James Lein's Obituary and Guestbook on kaisercorson.com.