Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
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DONALD JAMES "JIM" DEMPSEY
Donald James "Jim" Dempsey, age 90, of Washington, Iowa, passed away Wednesday, March 3, 2021, at his residence following a battle with kidney failure.
Celebration of life services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 6, 2021, at the Jones & Eden Funeral Home with Pastor Gregory Thomas officiating. Services will be livestreamed on the Jones & Eden Funeral Home Facebook page. Calling hours will begin noon Friday, March 5, 2021, at the Jones & Eden Funeral Home where the family will receive friends from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. Interment with military honors will be held at Elm Grove Cemetery in Washington. Memorials have been established Hospice Compassus, the National Kidney Foundation and the Wounded Warrior Project. Online condolences may be sent for Jim's family through the web at www.jonesfh.com.
Jim was born December 17, 1930, in Belmond, Iowa, the son of Lewis Edward and Alma Josephine (Johnson) Dempsey. He attended Washington High School, where he boxed in Golden Gloves and was the champion of his weight class. He later attended Kirkwood Community College. Jim served honorably in the Army National Guard's heavy equipment department in Fairfield where he was a 1st Sergeant. He was united in marriage to Victorian "Vicki" Sue Thomas on October 31, 1992, in Washington.
Jim and his family moved to Washington, Iowa, when he was 3 years old. At the age of 7, Jim got his first job picking berries and he also received his first social security card at this time. He worked at the filling station, Lemmon's Drug Store, Gambles, and shined shoes for Sam James. On December 19, 1955, he started at Iowa Southern Utilities. He worked in the engine room running the diesels for 16 years, in the stock room for 3 years, and he read meters for 11 years. He spent the rest of his time there as a district service man and retired in 1994 after 38 years. After retirement, Jim drove a dump truck for 12 years.
Jim was an avid Iowa Hawkeye and Green Bay Packers fan. He met Ray Nitschke and the guys in the early 1960s at the Thunderbird Motel in Bloomington, Minnesota. He was a plain, ordinary man who was never fake, but he would talk an arm and a leg off you. He loved working in his garage and built 2 trailers, a log splitter, a tractor and an ice cream freezer. Jim loved fishing and going to the Thomas Cabin. He enjoyed mowing, boating and pheasant hunting with his special black lab, Ebbie. Jim was always helping others, often showing up to plow friend's driveways or stopping to help a stranger shovel snow.
He is survived by his wife of 28 years, Vicki Dempsey of Washington, IA; children: Susan Dempsey and Daniel Dempsey; 3 grandchildren; brother, Jerry Dempsey of TX; nephew, Bruce Dempsey; and numerous cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Lewis "Jack" Dempsey.