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James "Jim" Ismert1929 ~ 2018 (age 89)
James “Jim” Ismert, 89, passed away the morning of November 29, 2018. Jim was born in Erie and grew up in a modest home in Larned with his parents George and Dorotha, his brother Gene, and his sister Joan (Jo-Anne). His lifelong friend Leslie Griffith can attest to his ornery nature from high school onward. Jim was constantly seeking adventure. He was drafted for the army and spent 1952-1954 in California preparing for the Korean War. Just prior to being sent overseas, however, he was released due to significant vision problems. Despite his short length as active duty, Jim continued to be an avid supporter of his fellow veterans.
After the army, Jim worked for an oil drilling company and learned to fly airplanes. He rode motorcycles until the age of 82, and as often as he could, he visited his plots of land to hunt and enjoy the wildlife. Even in his diminished mobility the last several years, Jim insisted on using his Ab Lounger and Airdyne exercise equipment to ease the aches and pains that his doctors “just didn’t know how to handle.” His stubbornness and do-it-yourself attitude truly defined him.
He loved Little Debbie’s oatmeal cookies, Vietnamese instant coffee, and sweet potatoes prepared by his son, ``James E,” who inherited his dad’s sense of fearlessness and need for speed. Jim’s granddaughter, Lara, was the apple of his eye—he proudly attended her piano and theatre performances across the state and even traveled to Lincoln, Nebraska in 2015 to see one of her shows. And with all his heart, Jim loved Pat, his wife of 47 years. Their partnership encompassed decades of successful business in real-estate and property management, including the 54 U-Store storage units and the Copa Motel in Kingman, Kansas.
After being hospitalized for pneumonia in October, Jim’s kidneys reached near failure. He spent the subsequent weeks working to regain his strength and adjust to dialysis, but eventually made the difficult decision to discontinue his treatments. He spent the last days of his life surrounded by family and friends, and died peacefully in his favorite place: the living room of the special home he and Pat shared for thirty-four years. Jim’s tenacious spirit lives on through his son, James E Ismert II; his brother, Gene (wife Jeneane); his granddaughter, Lara; and his step-grandchildren, Joe, Taylor, and Dara Buchanan.