Nothing meant more to Jim Sheets than helping others out. He had a caring heart, would give up his last of anything if someone needed it and was a hard worker. Jim loved his grandchildren more than they would ever know and loved all his nieces, nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.
Many memorable events took place in 1953 with the end of the Korean War and Queen Elizabeth II being crowned queen of England at the top of the world list. The first Polio vaccine was developed, the first James Bond novel was published, the New York Yankees won their fifth World Series in a row, the first Corvette car went on sale, transistor radios started to appear for sale and the first color television sets were sold on average of over $1,000 a set. For Lester and Joy (Wygant) Sheets, at the top of their list was the announcement of the birth of their son, James E. Sheets on September 21, 1953. Jim was born at Whitley County Memorial Hospital in Columbia City, Indiana.
Growing up in rural Roanoke, Jim learned at a young age the value of the hard work it took to living on a farm. In his free time, he played basketball, tractor pulling, and after getting his driver’s license, he enjoyed drag racing others. At the age of 16, Jim bought his first tractor. It was a brand new 1969 Oliver 550 and would hold on to it for the rest of his life. Jim graduated from Huntington North High School with the Class of 1971.
Jim was a lifelong farmer with his family's farm, L&J Sheets Farm. After graduating, Jim also began working at International Harvester for the next 10 years before the plant closed and moved out of state. Jim had married Dianne Miller during this time and did not want to move her and their two sons from their home. He also had been a school bus driver for Southwest Allen County Schools, Office Facility Service, and for the past five years at Innovative Packaging in Huntington. He was a member of Shriner Horse Patrol, American Legion Post 160 in Roanoke and attended St. Catherine's Catholic Church. Over the years he was involved with the Whitley County 4-H and helped his family do the yearly cleanup at Union Cemetery in rural Roanoke. Jim loved cheering on his grandchildren as they played sports and enjoyed going to 4-H fairs, fishing, and tractor pulling.
Sadly, Jim’s health declined suddenly while at Lutheran Hospital and he passed away Monday, August 30, 2021, at the age of 67. Jim is survived by his sons, Shawn (Jennifer) Sheets and Barry Sheets; mother, Joy Sheets; sisters, Debbie (Doug) Woods and Pam (David) Fields; grandchildren, Robby Sheets, Ryan Sheets, Kyndra Sheets, Adasyn Sheets and Brantlyne Sheets; and nieces and nephews, Dawn (Brad) Carsten, Dustin Woods, Julie (Kris) Cossairt and Derick Fields. He was preceded in death by his father, Lester Sheets; and former wife and best friend forever, Dianne Sheets. Visitation will be 2 to 8 pm Thursday, September 2, 2021, at DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City.
A celebration of Jim's life will be 10:30 am Friday, at the funeral home with Father Dale A. Bauman officiating. Burial will follow at Union Cemetery. Memorial donations may be given in his memory to Union Cemetery for future upkeep or to the Whitley County 4-H Swine Club. Visit www.DeMoneyGrimes.com to send Jim's family online condolences or sign the online guest book.
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