James Edgar Weikart, age 84 of Bloomington, passed away on Thursday January 16, 2020 at Garden Villa, Bloomington, following a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease and Lewy Body Dementia. He was born on October 13, 1935, in Fort Wayne, Indiana; son of Harvey F. and Lena Buss Weikart.
Jim grew up in Fort Wayne, IN and graduated from Fort Wayne Central High School in 1954. After graduation, Jim served in the United States army. Following his honorable discharge he returned to Fort Wayne where he worked several part-time jobs while attending night classes at Indiana University, Fort Wayne campus. During this period Jim met and married, Alice Jane Baumgartner. They were married in January of 1959 until her passing on October 8, 2009.
Shortly after they wed Jim & Alice moved to South Bend, Indiana where he began his career in the retail industry with Robert Hall Clothing Store. After several promotions & moves, he was assigned as general manager of the Robert Hall store in Springfield, MO. It was during his time in Springfield that Jim once again pursued his dream of completing his college degree. He attended night school at Drury College (now Drury University) in Springfield on the GI Bill, while working full time, and received his BA in History in 1968.
In keeping with his appreciation of higher education, Jim began his college & university bookstore management career in the late 1960’s at Southwest Missouri State College and then Drury College both in Springfield. His career then led him on to Eastern Montana College (now MSU Billings), the University of Texas El Paso, Mount Hood Community College (Oregon), Montana State University, Bozeman and Oregon State University, Corvallis. Jim retired from his extensive career in June 2000, as CEO of Oregon State University Bookstore, INC. Shortly after retirement, Jim and Alice moved to Richmond, IN and later to Bloomington, IN. Not being one to sit still, Jim continued working during his retirement years. He served as the Interim Director of the Wayne County Historical Museum in Richmond for a year, in addition to a part-time position at a local retail store. Upon moving to Bloomington, Jim joined a group of retired businessmen who mentored new students in the IU School of Business. Even after totally retiring Jim often talked about how much he missed work. He would frequently say, “I loved every job I ever had, each one brought something new, exciting & challenging to my life”.
In addition to thoroughly enjoying his family & profession, Jim had a passion for reading, especially about history. He liked exploring new areas where he lived, and very much enjoyed traveling throughout the US and abroad. He was an avid sports fan, especially basketball and baseball. Jim was very outgoing and never met a stranger. In addition to volunteering his time to many charitable & church endeavors, Jim was a committed member of Rotary International for over 40 years. He was also heavily involved with Newcomers Club in both Corvallis, OR and Bloomington, IN where he was a former president and served in several positions on the board. He was also a member of St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Bloomington.
Jim met his second wife, Terry Dignam Halloran, through the Bloomington Newcomers Club. They were married on January 8, 2011. During the early years of their marriage, Jim got to realize another dream of his, traveling to Europe to experience some of the history he had read about for many years. He and Terry had the opportunity to visit a number of European countries during this time. Jim’s amazement with the art, architecture, history, people and beauty of the surroundings was evident every day. He repeated time and time again…”this is all so wonderful”.
Jim loved his family and loved being part of a family. He is survived by his wife, Terry Halloran; children, Jennifer (Carlos) Aguero and Kirk (Melody) Weikart; grandchildren, Paige Knickerbocker, Cameron (Laura) Weikart, Hannah (A.J.) Mattson and Rachel Weikart; great-grandchildren, Harrison and Emilie Weikart; step-children, Shavonne (Scott) Bauer, Brian (Cathy) Halloran, and Kevin (Jennifer) Halloran; 13 step-grandchildren and 2 step-great–grandchildren.
Jim is preceded in death by his parents, wife, Alice (Baumgartner) Weikart and brother Thomas F. Weikart.
Jim’s family would like to thank the IU Bloomington Hospital Alzheimer’s Resource Services, Jill’s House Memory Care Facility, Garden Villa Bloomington and Southern Care Hospice Services for the care and support that was provided to Jim and family during this difficult period. There are too many specific people to mention here, but please know how much all of you are appreciated.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday January 25, 2020 at 11:00AM at St Paul Catholic Center, 1413 East 17th Street. The family will receive family and friends from 10:00AM until time of the Mass at 11:00AM.
In lieu of flowers Jim’s family is requesting donations be made to the IU Health Foundation Alzheimer’s Resource Services (P.O. Box 1149 Bloomington, IN 47401), or the charity of your choice.
Allen Funeral Home and Crematory 4155 South Old State Road 37 is handling the arrangements and online condolences, photos an memories may be shared with family and friends at www.allencares.com.