A visitation with the family of James “Jim” Maher, age 76, of Norwalk who died peacefully on Wednesday evening, November 28, 2018 at the VA Hospital in Des Moines, will begin on Sunday, December 2nd at 5 p.m. and concluding with the start of a Christian Wake and Rosary Service at 7:30 p.m. at O'Leary Funeral Services in Norwalk.
A Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 10 a.m. on Monday, December 3rd at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in Norwalk, of which he was a member for over 65 years. Burial will immediately follow in the St. John Cemetery in Cumming along with Military Services presented by the United States Army Honor Guard and the Cumming American Legion Post 562, of which he was also a member. Family and friends are invited to share in a meal at the St. John the Apostle Fellowship Hall after the burial.
Memorial contributions to be designated by the family to go to St. John’s Catholic Church or the VA Health Systems CLC fund will be accepted.
To send an on-line condolence and flowers/gifts to Jim's service, using the only local florist in Norwalk, O'Leary's Flowers [and to ensure timely delivery]please select the "send tributes/flowers" tab on this screen or call direct (515) 981-0700.
Jim’s Life Story
James Michael Maher, the son of Francis Michael and Mary Frances (Golden) Maher, was born on Saturday, April 11, 1942 in Des Moines, Iowa. His family moved to Farrar where he attended school in Bondurant until the age of 11; at which time his family moved to his grandparent’s family farm just east of Cumming. Jim attended the two room school house in Cumming and later transferred to Norwalk High School graduating with the Class of 1960. He enlisted into the United States Army in January 1961 and served his country honorably stationed in both Korea for 13 months and then Ft. Carson, Colorado for 16 months. Following his honorable discharge, Jim returned home to Iowa where he went to work for Armstrong Tire & Rubber, which then became Pirelli Tire, and later Titan Tires. On October 25, 1989 he was paralyzed from the upper chest down. Jim not once ever complained about his handicap and was offered his position back at Titan Tires when he was able to return. Following a nearly four year strike Jim retired in 2001 and cared for his three granddaughters, Alexa, Madison and Kayla. Jim was an avid outdoor sportsman and loved to deer and pheasant hunt and fish. Jim was a very proud supporter and involved member of the United Rubber Workers Local 164 where he served twice as the Chief Union Steward.
When Jim was 16 years old he met his future wife, Donella Eva Silverthorn, whom at the time was age 13. Following Jim’s military service, they were married on August 8, 1964 at the St. John’s Catholic Church in Cumming, most recently celebrating 54 years. Jim and Donella made Norwalk their life-long home and had four sons, Scott, James, Michael, and Thomas. Throughout the years they have both been very involved in their son’s lives helping with school and extracurricular activities and attending games. They liked to camp and later in life enjoyed volunteering their time at the John L. Lewis Mining and Labor Museum in Lucas, Iowa for several years.
On Wednesday evening, with family at his side Jim died peacefully at the VA Medical Center in Des Moines. He lived 76 years, 7 months, and 17 days. He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Dan and Bob; and a sister, Mary Ellen.
He is survived by his loving wife Donella of Norwalk; his four sons and daughters-in-law, Scott and Nora of Norwalk, Jim and Nancy of Newton, Mike and Marcia of Waukee, and Tom and Andrea of Huxley; his siblings, Patricia Maher, Barbara (John) Selby, and Frank (Nancy) Maher; 11 grandchildren, Casey (Alli), Courtney (Carson) Klocko, Alexa, Madison, Caden, Kayla, Natalie, Caitlin, Alayna, Jacob, and Hannah; a great-grandson, Leon and another one on the way.