Little known facts: In their pre-teens, Jim and his brother Dave sang before an audience of 5,000 people in a regional talent contest and show in Clear Lake, Iowa, finishing second to a cute girl who tap danced her way into the judges' hearts for first place, much to Jim's lasting chagrin. Decades later, however, Jim was vindicated, achieving 30 seconds of fame when he appeared in a starring role---okay, as an extra---in the movie Nebraska. Photos with Will Forte (the actual star of the movie), dinners with the cast and a few dollars were ample payment for a thoroughly enjoyable experience! He graduated from Osage High School in 1958 and after attending Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa for one year, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving four years, including a year in Korea.
Following his military service, Jim worked for various loan and finance companies in Iowa and Nebraska. He married Dorothy Wist, adopting her two children, Cindy and Duane, and together having a daughter, Kimberly. When the marriage ended in divorce, Jim moved to Arizona and after brief stints in franchise food businesses, he began a long career with Fry's Groceries. For his summer vacations, he balanced playing golf in the hot Arizona sun with annual trips to the Pacific Northwest to relax, fish and help with the current project at his brother's lake property.
Upon retirement, Jim moved back to Nebraska and spent his remaining years in the small town of Hooper, doing bits of part-time work, tending to his yard and vegetable garden, socializing with his friends by whom he was known as ''Jimbo,'' and making coffee and opening the doors for early morning gatherings at the VFW hall. Card games and team shuffleboard were enjoyable social outlets, while also supplementing his somewhat competitive inclination. Jim was an avid sports fan with interests ranging from NASCAR to the PGA. Topping the list was major league baseball; specifically the St. Louis Cardinals and Nebraska Cornhusker football. Recreationally, Jim's love was fishing. While he enjoyed numerous river and lake outings over the years, two highlights were a salmon fishing trip to Vancouver, B.C. with his brother Dave and family and friends deep-sea fishing excursion in Oahu. In both instances, Jim's catches were, of course, the biggest!
Jim is survived by his children, Cindy Manning, Duane Haugen, Kimberly Jercick and their mother, Dot; his siblings David Haugen, Janice Larson, Bruce Haugen and Marilyn Haugen, and by his numerous grandchildren, nieces, nephews and his closest friends. Jim will be remembered affectionately as the family ''character'' and a kind-hearted friend to many.
A celebration of Jim's life will be 11am, Saturday, March 11, 2023 at the Hooper Cemetery with Military Honors.
Online guestbook at www.hooper-scribner.com