In Memory of

James F. Specht

October 21, 1930 - February 20, 2021
From: Cherokee, IA

 James Francis Specht, was born to John Nicholas and Helen Mary (McNeil) Specht on October 21, 1930 on the family farm. He was premature, weighing only 4 lbs. with a severe case of jaundice he fought on. He was placed in a shoe box and kept warm on a cob stove. He was tough from the start. He attended school at Maryhill through the 8th grade and then attended and graduated from Wilson High School in 1949.

 He Joined the Air Force in 1952 where he was an E5 Staff Sergeant aircraft and engine mechanic. He served during the Korean War in flight air refueling. He spent a year in England and had the pleasure to meet the Queen. He also spent a year stationed in Greenland. He returned home inactive duty reserve to help his family with the farm.

 In 1958, he met his wife, LaDonna Kramer at the Tomahawk Skating Rink where he worked. Jim was an excellent skater and even went to a training facility in Colorado.

 From their marriage five children were born: Tammy Baker of Meriden, Theresa Specht of Colorado Springs, CO, John Specht of Cherokee, IA, Linda Specht of Cherokee, IA, and Nancie (Brian) Heithus of Milford, IA; 12 grandchildren, John Green, Amber Riordan, Christle Baker, Jesse Specht, Sunshine Grueber, Dakota Brown, Michael Specht, Josh Specht, Ben Specht, Brandon Heithus, Heather Harmon, and Savannah Heithus; and 18 great-grandchildren.

 In 1960 he built and ran the Caravan Inn Motel and Caravan Country Kitchen. Jim was a great cook. He would often say “we fed some and fattened a lot!” All you can eat buffet for $2.25. Jim was a master carver of beef roast and ham. He greeted each customer with a friendly smile.

 Jim and his brother Morley sold the business in 1980 and continued to farm the Specht family land. Jim also worked at Barry Johnson’s machine shop welding. He drove cars for Rasmussen Ford, worked at Fridley Movie Theatre Cleaning for 23 years. He was a busy man He would say “if you slow down you grow old.” He cooked and flipped pancakes for the flight breakfast for years with his brother.

 Jim loved the community, especially his friends at Fareway. He deeply loved his family and always said “I love you” followed by “I mean it.” He loved all creatures including family pets throughout the years including all the ones five children could bring home. Generations of deer, always with twins fed in the yard. After all they did get movie theatre popcorn for 23 years. He also had a yearly garden. Fox, woodchucks, and eagles, and the occasional mountain lion would travel through.

 Jim last resided with his wife at Careage Hills. He was known for his kind words and beautiful singing voice. Jim will be remembered and missed by so many.

 Greeting him in heaven are his parents, infant sister, brother Morley and so many loved ones both family and friends.

A graveside service will be held for family and close friends at 10:00 a.m. Monday, June 28, 2021 at Maryhill Visitation Cemetery, rural Cherokee. Father Gene Sitzmann will officaite. Military rites will be conducted by the L.A. Wescott Post 2253 and the American Legion. The family invites family and friends to join them for a light lunch from 11:30-1:00 p.m. at the Spring Lake Yacht Club following burial.
Monsignor Kenneth Seifried
Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.
"How Great Thou Art"
"Amazing Grace"
"I'll Fly Away"
Maryhill Visitation Cemetery
Rural Cherokee, Iowa


Thursday, June 3, 2021 at 1:55 PM
“So sorry to see that Jim has passed away. He was a very nice person. My mother thought highly of him and the rest of his family.”
- Molly M McCarthy
Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at 1:56 PM
“I am so sorry to hear of Jim's passing... I have a lot of good memories of Jim Donna and all the kids...”
- GLENDA Schleef
Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at 1:24 PM
“Rest easy grandpa, I love you ”
- John S Green
Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at 8:51 AM
“So sorry to hear of Jim's passing. I remember the good old days growing up with the family at The Caravan Motel. Rest In Peace!”
- Ed & Terri(Urban) Nelson
Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at 8:51 AM
“Tammy, I'm so sorry to hear of your father's passing. I remember interacting with him in various places around town, mostly at the movie theater. He was a man full of energy and always had a smile and kind word for the kids. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. ”
- bev stines
Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 4:40 PM
“Although I never got the pleasure to meet him personally, in phone conversation, he was a man of sharp intellect, quick wit and fine humor. He will be loved and missed by many, and will never truly be gone to those that keep him in the heads, and hearts. Godspeed sir, and may you enjoy eternal rest and peace.”
- Jeff Faltz
Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 4:40 PM
“James (Jim) was my father-in-law when I was married to his oldest daughter. I did not keep in touch with him like I should have, but he was a good man and I always enjoyed talking with him during my short time with him. Jim, you will be missed.”
- Ronald Green
Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 4:40 PM
“My thoughts and prayers to you alland Donna. My heart breaks for the family Jim was a great giy and would always have a smile on his face and would talk to you and never a starnger to anyone. Always helped others out too so much. Jim will be missed dearly. R.I.P. JIM🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲”
- Amy Strahmann Booher
Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 4:40 PM
“Sending hugs and prayers to all of you Jim was a great person and I enjoyed visiting with him and taking care of him at Cherokee Specialty Care ”
- Brenda Parker
Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 4:40 PM
“Hard to believe I’m reading this today. First thing that came to mind was his singing Happy Birthday to me when they called, what a loving man. He loved everyone and was very loved right back. No one will fill Jim’s shoes, he was one of a kind. We love you, Uncle Jim. God has just gotten another angel 😇 ”
- Bonnie Anderson
Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 4:40 PM
“So sorry to hear of Jim's passing. The "Three Amigos" are now all gone. You may not remember me by name, but we go clear back to the Tomahawk Roller Rink Days.
I was married to Darrel Hein. We sure had some good times together way back then.”
- Betty Hein Nelson
Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 4:40 PM
“James Specht was a man on the move, lifelong, as his obituary unfolded for us, and one who could rebound with infectious confidence. We had some 50 years together as next-door neighbors at Maryhill - all upbeat. I will remember Jim, and his Family, at the Altar of the Lord. ”
- Fr. Gene Sitzmann
Thursday, February 25, 2021 at 9:51 AM
“Along with many others, I took care of Jim while he resided at Careage Hills, his kind words always brightened our day! He will be missed by many and loved always. ❤️”
- Stephanie Bechtel
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 12:48 PM
“Deepest Sympathy to the family of Jim , may he rest in peace. ”
- Duane Mummert
Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 2:54 PM
“I work at Careage Hills in Cherokee and loved taking care of Jim! He was the sweetest man, he was loved and will be missed by us all ❤️”
- Samantha Eberly
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