James M. Koens, of Davenport, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, on Monday, April 17th, 2023. Visitation will be held on Friday, April 21st, 2023 at Zion Lutheran Church in Davenport from 10:30 to 11:45 am, with a funeral service at 12:00 noon. Family and friends are invited to celebrate his life following the service with a luncheon at Jim’s beloved Elks Lodge. Halligan-McCabe-DeVries assisted the family with arrangements.
Jim was born in Davenport, IA on August 9th,1938, the son of Maurice and Margaret Koens. Jim was a graduate of Davenport High School, where he met Sherry Laschanzky, the love of his life. After high school, Jim enrolled at the University of Iowa to get a first-hand look at the Hawkeye football team and to play intramural sports, but he missed Sherry too much and decided to return home. He began to work for Iowa-Illinois Gas and Electric Company, from which he retired in 1994. Jim and Sherry wed on February 14th, 1959 and started on an adventure that included travel, friendships, and the upbringing of three daughters, multiple hunting dogs, and an unwanted cat. Jim was an unwavering and unapologetic Cubs, Bears, and Hawkeye fan, attending games as often as he could. He also had half a notion to partake in a Manhattan or two from time to time.
Jim had many hobbies and was a friend to many. Jim never knew a stranger and had an uncanny knack for striking up conversation with anyone he might meet. He loved to golf and spend time in his garden, providing tomatoes for half of the west end of Davenport. His family could always find him in the garden during the summer, carefully tending to his plants in anticipation of picking time. Jim was also an avid outdoorsman, loving his time in the field and on the water, a passion that he passed along to his daughters, sons in-law, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He and Sherry loved their bi-annual trips to the Chippewa Flowage, as much for the Denver omelets (without peppers) as for the 13-inch crappie. They also traveled to Texas every winter, enjoying fishing for redfish and trout, golf, and the friendships that they developed over the years.
Jim was a dedicated member of Zion Lutheran Church and of the Davenport Elks Lodge. He served as Elks Lodge Exalted Ruler and State President, working to increase volunteer opportunities and to serve others. Jim was respected throughout the state and forged lifelong friendships with his fellow members. Jim was actively involved in processing deer hides during the hunting season, which provided leather material used for therapy programs for recovering veterans. Jim loved serving others and the community through his work with the Elks.
Jim is survived by his loving wife, Sherry, his daughters Kathy (Gary) Morris, Sue (Barry) Kitzmann, and Anne (Jon) Flynn; grandchildren Justin (Megan) Morris, Mindy (Jesse) Werner, Corey (Kim) Kitzmann, Ryan (Jamie) Kitzmann, and Addison and Peyton Flynn; great-grandchildren Ki, Brayden, Colton, Owen, Nova, Kamdyn, Oliver, Oakley, Brynn, and Luka; sister Pat Goldsberry (Mesa, AZ), and brother Larry (Sharon) Koens (Bettendorf, IA).
Jim loved life, and we ask others to live and to serve Christ as Jim did. Memorials can be made to Zion Lutheran Church or Davenport Elks Lodge #298.