In memory of

James "Jim" Dreeszen

July 17, 1933 - August 10, 2023
From: Auburn, IA
James "Jim" Dreeszen

James "Jim" Dreeszen

Born: July 17, 1933
Died: August 10, 2023
Age: 90
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James R. Dreeszen, 90, a lifelong resident of Auburn, Iowa, passed away Thursday, August 10 at Twilight Acres in Wall Lake, Iowa.

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, August 14 at the Auburn United Presbyterian Church, with military rites and burial to follow at Oak Lawn Cemetery north of Auburn.

Visitation will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Farber & Otteman Funeral Home in Wall Lake, with a prayer service scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

Jim was born in July 1933 to Clarence and Mildred Dreeszen. Growing up, he helped out on his family’s farm near Auburn. As a young boy, he remembered the excitement of coming home one night to see his farmhouse illuminated for the first time as electricity came to the rural area. 

He played basketball, sang in the choir, played trumpet in the band and acted in theatrical productions at Auburn High School, where he earned his diploma in 1951.

Following high school, Jim worked for a local farmer. A child of the Great Depression, he kept the first $100 bill he earned for the rest of his life.

With war raging in the Korean peninsula, Jim volunteered for the U.S. Army, rather than be drafted, so that he and two friends also from Sac County could be sent to the same unit. Assigned to Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma, Jim rose to the rank of staff sergeant. The Korean Conflict ended just months before he anticipated being sent overseas.

While at Fort Sill, Jim went on a blind date with a girl named Lorena from nearby Duncan, Oklahoma. Both somewhat shy at the time, they opted to go see a movie because they worried they might otherwise run out of things to say to each other during the date.

Jim eventually proposed and Lorena accepted. The couple were wed in Duncan on June 12, 1955, beginning over 68 years of marriage. They started farming northwest of Auburn, later buying their own farm, where they raised two children and lived for over 50 years before moving to a new home in the town of Auburn in 2005.

In addition to cattle and hogs, Jim raised registered Quarter Horses. Riding his horses, driving an antique buggy, wagon or sleigh pulled by his team of horses, watching rodeos and taking in other western activities remained one of his favorite pastimes throughout his life.

Jim was a community leader for decades, both as an elected official and as a volunteer for multiple organizations.

For over 40 years, he was elected Sac Township Clerk, a position whose duties included marking plots for burial at the township cemeteries and working closely with area funeral homes.

From 1972 to 1985, he served on the Lake View-Auburn school board, including stints as board president, staying long enough to hand out diplomas to both his children.

A past chair of the Stewart Memorial Community Hospital Board of Trustees, his six-year tenure on the board from 1989 to 1995 came during a major expansion of the Lake City, Iowa, health care center.

As a longtime member of the Auburn Lions Club, he enjoyed helping out with the club’s annual Halloween parties and Easter egg hunts for local children.

A lifelong member of the Auburn United Presbyterian Church, Jim filled multiple roles over the years, from serving as the session clerk and leading the Sunday School program to raking leaves and pulling weeds around the grounds. For many years, Jim and Lorena sang in the church choir and formed a duet at numerous funerals. 

In retirement, Jim and Lorena took up country dancing, a hobby they enjoyed with a group of friends. 

For several years, the couple hauled their Fifth Wheel camper to south Texas for an escape from Iowa’s harsh winters. Until just a few years ago, they also had a reserved camping spot at the Iowa State Fair, which Jim first attended with his parents as an infant. Each year, he looked forward to going to Des Moines to take in the “Nothing Compares” extravaganza, from watching horse shows to eating corn dogs to riding the sky glider with his grandkids.

He also kept rooting for his favorite college team, the Iowa Hawkeyes. At age 82, he attended his first football game at Kinnick Stadium with his son and a grandson.

After slipping on an icy driveway, Jim suffered a head injury that led to his dementia in the final years of his life. It slowly robbed him of his sharp memory, playful sense of humor and easy conversational manner. But he continued to show his love and affection for his family and his belief in Christ as our Risen Savior until his last days.

Jim is survived by Lorena, his wife of 68 years; two children, David and his partner, Amy Duhachek of Sioux City; Cindy of Auburn and her fiancé, Gary Adams of Omaha; four grandchildren: Robin Dreeszen of Sioux City; Rachel Dreeszen of Kensett, Iowa; and Matthew and Megan Dreeszen of Auburn; and a sister, Jean Peck of Rockwell City.

Tribute Video
Funeral Service
10:30 a.m., Monday
August 14, 2023
Auburn United Presbyterian Church
Auburn, Iowa
3:00-5:00 p.m., Prayer Service 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, August 13, 2023
Farber & Otteman Funeral Home
Wall Lake, Iowa
Oak Lawn Cemetery
Auburn, Iowa


Tuesday, March 12, 2024 at 10:15 PM
“Jim Dreeszen was my grandpa but he was also my best friend i know it has been a while since he passed away i thought i needed to say you made my grandpa's funeral how it should have been thank you.”
- Megan
Wednesday, September 13, 2023 at 4:12 PM
“Cindy and Family, We are so sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. What a long and fulfilled life he lived. We remember how he loved his horses so your video is perfect!”
- Joyce and Brad Shelton
Friday, August 18, 2023 at 9:01 AM
“Dear Lorena and family, We are all saddened by the passing of "Big Jim". He was BIG in many ways. From " Little Jim".”
- Jim Clapper
Tuesday, August 15, 2023 at 3:38 PM
“I grew up right across the road from Jim and Ltorena. He used to make me feel so grown up when I got to drive the tractor loading hay into the barn. Later on they bought my parents farm. Condolences to the family”
- Steve Garnatz
Monday, August 14, 2023 at 10:16 AM
“I was sorry to hear of Jim's passing. I know it's sad because I lost Bob last September. We have great memories, Rena, dancing at the Lakewood. I always enjoyed knowing you both. God's blessing to you. Elaine Harden”
- Elaine Harden
Monday, August 14, 2023 at 8:50 AM
“I can still see them doing the 2 step and line dancing at the Lakewood ballroom. ”
- Marlene Glasnapp
Monday, August 14, 2023 at 8:50 AM
“Deepest sympathy, Jim and Lorena were my Godparents. Sadly I have not seen them for many years. I was fortunate to bring my kids to the farm in the late 90's to take one of those wonderful wagon rides. Memories that are so important to us.”
- Lynn Fleming Nelson
Sunday, August 13, 2023 at 9:29 AM
“My sympathy to Lorena and your family. He was a wonderful leader in the Auburn and Lake View School Board. You will have many fon memories to nthink about along with knowing he is in God's loving arms. Blessings.”
- Donna Tjaden
Sunday, August 13, 2023 at 9:29 AM
“I visited with Jim when he would come to the Auditor's office on township business. Sac Township had a good clerk, for sure. My sympathies to the family. ”
- Jo Ellerbrock
Saturday, August 12, 2023 at 9:51 AM
“Sorry for your loss. Prayers for the family.”
- Alan Buse
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