INDEPENDENCE – Jerome “Jim” M. Wester was born on May 29, 1927 to Hubert P. Wester and Christine (Becker) Wester on a farm near La Porte City. He went to school through 8th grade, after which, he worked on the family farm. He learned many valuable skills as a farm hand and found time for the occasional practical joke. Jim married Bettye Blocker on February 10, 1948, and they had three children, Kathleen Olsen, Michael Wester, and Kristi Hiller. A downturn in the farm economy of the 1960s led Jim to work off the farm. Over the years, he held several jobs, including at Black Hawk Seed Farms in La Porte City, Rath Packing in Waterloo, Universal Hoist in Cedar Falls, and John Deere in Waterloo.
Jim and Bettye eventually settled in Independence, IA, where they were members of Immanuel Lutheran church. Jim was quite the craftsman, and spent hours woodworking, even making grandfather clocks for each of his children. He and Bettye also traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Jim was called home to his Lord Jesus Christ on May 15, 2021.
Jim is survived by his children, Michael (Kristine) Wester, Kristi (Brian) Hiller and Kathleen Olsen; sister, Dorothy Blocker; seven grandchildren; six great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
He was proceeded in death by his wife, his parents, his sister Lora Kohl, brothers Raphael, Cleo, and Eugene Wester, his son-in-law LeRoy Olsen, and his “damn goose” Homer, who to Jim’s annoyance followed him everywhere, pecked his shoes untied, and carried off or ate parts of things Jim was repairing.
A private graveside service will be held at Westview Cemetery in La Porte City, IA, followed by a time of sharing memories at Oak View Retirement Center in Independence. Memorials can be directed to the Cedar Valley Hospice in Independence, Ia.