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Jim Routh

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 3 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 9 years as top Iowa Realty sales person. He was very proud of that accomplishment.

After the death of Jims 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; 1 sister-in-law, Jessie Meusburger of Truesdale, IA, and 1 brother-in-law Bob Schilling of Diagonal, IA; many nieces and nephews, other relatives and a wonderful group of friends and supportive prayer warriors.

A memorial fund has been established in his name to be decided by his family.

Services: 11:00 am - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at the United Church of Diagonal

Officiants: Rev. Gwen Trullinger and Rev. Al Rusk

Open Viewing: 2:00 pm - 8:00 pm, Tues, April 17

Family Present: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm, Tues, April 17: all visitation will be held at the United Church of Diagonal

Memorials: In his name to be decided by his family

Burial: Diagonal Cemetery - Diagonal, Iowa

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jim Routh, please visit our flower store.


Jim was a friend to everyone, always had a smile and a hearty laugh. Southern Iowa has lost a great man! Blessed are the ones who he called friends. Prayers and love to his family and friends he will surely be missed by many!!

Mike Blanchard Apr 25 2018 12:00 AM

My condolences to the Jim Routh family .

Teo Zapata Apr 18 2018 12:00 AM

Jim will be greatly missed. I am so sorry to hear he has passed. He was always one of my most friendly and loved cousins. Remembering the good times we shared on the farm!

Connie Davenport LaBarr Apr 18 2018 12:00 AM

I are so sorry to hear of Cousin Jim's passing. Wayne and I send our deepest sympathy, prayers and hugs to the family. May God be with you in this time of sorrow.

Vicki Davenport Fischer Apr 18 2018 12:00 AM

I'm so sorry for all of you and your loss. I hope you find comfort in your wonderful memories.

Leslie Abarr Apr 17 2018 12:00 AM

Pat truly enjoyed Jim. You have our sincere sympathy.

Patrick & Connie Kerrigan Apr 17 2018 12:00 AM

So sorry for your loss Sharon. The Routh family has lost two cousins within eight days. I know Jim went through a long treatment and fought that old cancer as did Lenita. He will be greatly missed by his family, the Routh Cousin luncheons as he usually was there, and by the Diagonal community. All will miss his laugh as no one had one like Jim's. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the family.

Arden Routh Apr 17 2018 12:00 AM

Really enjoyed working with Jim on a farmland purchase in 2017. He served the local community and his clients well. Also, many thanks to Jim for letting myself and bird dogs hunt quail on his farms. RIP Big Jim

Aaron Finch Apr 17 2018 12:00 AM

I'm so sorry for your loss. My family and I send our condolences to you and your family. Jim and my husband, Dale, were great friends before his death in 2009. Jim's been a friend of the family for many , many years and will be sadly missed. He was sure a big help to me , with the farms, after Dale passed. He was a good man , with a big heart. I hope you and your family enjoy the windchimes I sent. I recieved one exactly like it when Dale passed, and I couldn't count the times that memories of Dale flood my mind when hearing the beautiful chimes. I hope yours do the same for you. Sincerely, The Esker Family

Vickie Esker Apr 16 2018 12:00 AM

Big Jim was such a good guy that will be missed by so many! Thoughts and prayers coming your way Sharon, to you and your family. Keep your memories close to your heart... Heather and Lee Martin and family

Heather Martin Apr 16 2018 12:00 AM

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