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James Jeffrey (Big Jim) Routh, the only son of Francis Aaron and Velda Eleanor (Chandler) Routh, was born October 12, 1957, and departed this life on April 14, 2018, after a courageous battle with cancer. Jim was baptized into the Clearfield Methodist church on June 15, 1958. He graduated from Diagonal High School in 1976. He continued his education at DMACC for two years and received a degree as a Diesel Mechanic.
During his childhood Jim liked to go hunting. He spent lots of time with spot light in hand, looking for coons, shooting deer with the Diagonal crew, and trapping muskrat and fox; selling the hides for extra money. He liked working on cars. Jim enjoyed showing Hereford cattle in 4-H. He also enjoyed tormenting and taking care of his sisters while helping on the farm. He worked for Barker Implement in Lenox, Iowa for three years before opening Routh Diesel shop in Diagonal, Iowa. The business was destroyed by fire four years later and Jim went to work for Boyd Larsen of Clearfield and worked for him three years. He still carries the plier pouch he received from Kenny Larsen during that time. It has been glued, had rivets put it in it to hold it together and currently is held together by a bolt. Needless to say, he just would not part with it.
Jim did quarry work for Max Clark out of Leon, Iowa and Logan, Iowa. During these years, Jim went to school to become a real estate agent. He sold for John Henry his first year as an agent. The second year, he started selling houses and farm land for Moberg Iowa Realty out of Creston, Iowa. He was named the top affiliate agent in 2006 earning him recognition as a leader for the Iowa Realty statewide network. He was top salesman in the state of Iowa four straight years with a total of nine years as top Iowa Realty sales person. He was very proud of that accomplishment.
After the death of Jim’s Father in 1988, Jim farmed the home place on shares with his Mother. In 2000, Velda passed away and Jim took over the farming of Routh Farms. Over the years Jim has rented many acres of farm land in Ringgold, Taylor, Union and Decatur Counties. Jim had several hired farm hands, but in 2013, he hired granddaughter, Taylen, to fill that position. They have spent day after day together raising cattle, pulling calves, building fence, and doing dirt work. During the last two years, grandson, Jabe, joined the farm crew.
For 30 years Jim shared his love and life with Sharon England. On April 3, 2018, they were united in marriage. In 1993, Tyan and Taylen Abarr, Sharon’s granddaughters came to live with Jim and Sharon. “Big Jim” as he was lovingly nicknamed by Tyan helped to raise these two girls and referred to them as his own.
Jim served on the Ringgold County Supportive Services board for 17 plus year, serving as President of the board several years. He also served on the Ringgold County Group Home board for many years. He was a member of Pheasants Forever and a past member of Diagonal and Clearfield Lions Club. Big Jim was a man among men when it came to helping anyone, any time, any place.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, and both sets of grandparents.
Left to cherish his memory include his wife, Sharon Routh of Mount Ayr, IA. Step daughters, Shawna (Neil) Orr of Sapulpa, OK; Michelle (Neal) Wingfield of Chariton, IA; grandchildren Tyan (Cody) Keller of Afton, IA, Taylen Abarr of Mount Ayr, IA, Jabe Burton of Mount Ayr, IA, Cori (Angel) Meza of Sapulpa, OK, Kassidy Wingfield of Chariton, IA; 1 great granddaughter, Riley Keller of Afton, IA. Three sisters: Kathleen Koether of McGregor, IA, Julie Routh of Osceola, IA and Joan Routh of Mount Ayr, IA; one sister-in-law, Jessie Meusburger of Truesdale, IA, and one brother-in-law Bob Schilling of Diagonal, IA; many nieces and nephews, other relatives and a wonderful group of friends and supportive prayer warriors. Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr is in charge of the arrangements.
Services were held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at the United Church of Diagonal in Diagonal, Iowa.
Officiating was Rev. Gwen Trullinger and Rev. Al Rusk.
Special songs played were: “The Dance”, “When I Get Where I am Going”, “Go Rest High On That Mountain” and “One Pair of Hands”.
Casket bearers were: Nathan Nickel, Keagan Bishop, Jerry Brown, Jim Bentley, Mike England, and Greg Powell.
Honorary pallbearers were: Jerry Ewalt, Bryan Cook, Jon Moberg, Larry Schultes, Bob Strange, and Steve Stamps.
Jim was laid to rest at the Diagonal Cemetery in Diagonal, Iowa.
Memorials will be established in his name to be decided at a later time.

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