James Harvey Preston

James Harvey Preston

MISSION, Texas — James Harvey Preston, 85, of Mission, Texas, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, at Pax Villa Hospice in McAllen, Texas, following hospitalization since Dec. 24, 2016.

Memorial services will be 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017, at First United Methodist Church in Mission, Texas, with Pastor Bill Duke officiating. Summertime memorial and burial services in Swea City, Iowa, are pending.

Jim was born June 28, 1931, at home to Joseph Wesley and Pearl Q. (Keeney) Preston. He was raised on the family farm south and west of Swea City with seven older sisters and one younger brother and graduated from Swea City High School in 1949. He was a U.S. Army Korean War veteran.

When he came home, he began farming his own farm south and east of Swea City. On June 25, 1955, Jim married the love of his life, Marilyn Jane Mino, at the First Methodist Church in Swea City, that became their church family.

Jim was an ambitious farmer and built an innovative cattle feeding operation in the late 1960s. He served as a Kossuth County Cattlemen Director for many years.

Spending good times with extended family was always important to Jim. There were many get-togethers, trips around the country to visit relatives, along with numerous camping and fishing trips with family and friends.

In 1970, Jim purchased a ski boat which lead to much water skiing and fishing (Canada, S.D., and Ark.). Jim enjoyed playing cards and games — with ping pong being especially competitive. Jim also enjoyed hunting and shared this love with his sons.

The couple began traveling around the South each winter in 1984 and moved from Swea City to Mission in 1999.  They kept very active with square dancing, bridge, volunteering at church and Walk to Emmaus. Summers were spent traveling around the Midwest visiting family and friends, but he especially enjoyed spending time at the Missouri farm-fishing the ponds, enjoying the beauty and peacefulness.

Jim learned woodworking and carving wood in high school. He began perfecting his carving in the last ten years and enjoyed presenting each family member with a special piece.

Jim’s final days were spent reminiscing about all these things including how much he loved his Lord, wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years; four children: Twila (Gary) DeRocher of Merrill, Iowa, Dallas of Spickard, Mo., Leo of McMinnville, Ore., Debbie (John) Nece of Wichita, Kansas; 10 grandchildren/four great-grandchildren: Tara (Lee) Bird, Avery & Makenna; Heather (Eric) Miller Josiah & Tobias; Dalton Preston, Summer Preston, Jessica Preston, Joseph Preston, Nathan (Megan) Nece, Brandon Nece, Nicholas Nece, Brianna Nece; sisters, Phyllis Griffith of Apple Valley, Calif., Janyce Kelly of Armstrong, Iowa; brother-in-law, Marvin Boever of Estherville, Iowa; sisters-in-law, Gwen (Preston) Dodrill of Frisco, Texas, Violet Opdahl of Lewiston, Idaho, Evelyn (Gail) Petersen of Exira, Iowa; and many dear nieces and nephews.

Preceded in death by his parents; his father-in-law, Leonard (Doris & Helen); sisters, Pauline (Maynard) Jensen, Eloise (Roger) Linde, Wilma (Al) Nelson, Miriam (Kenny) Anderson, Nina Boever; brother, Thomas; brothers-in-law, Keith Griffith, John Kelly, Duane Opdahl, Donald (Pat) Mino; sister-in-law, Maribel Mino.

In lieu of flowers, send donations in memory of Jim Preston to the Valley Emmaus Community, 40 Ocelot Trail, Laguna Vista, TX 78578.