Jim M. Lundgren, 75, of Lexington, Neb., died Monday, Dec. 14, 2020 at Lexington Regional Health Center.
Jim was born June 28, 1945, in Douglas, Ariz., to Gilbert G. and Anna E. (Batie) Lundgren. He and his sister, Jean, were born during WW II. The hospital was nine blocks from the Mexican border. His mother was able to stay with his father at the airbase. Gilbert was an ROTC officer before being called into service and arrived in Hawaii one day after Pearl Harbor was attacked.
Six weeks after Jim was born, his mother returned with the children to Nebraska. When the war was over Gilbert returned to teach one year before buying a farm northwest of Lexington. Jim spent his early school years at District #7. He attended Lexington High School, graduating with the Class of 1962.
It was during his junior year in high school that he had his first date with Donna Joliffe. He was united in marriage to high school sweetheart, Donna Jean on Oct. 3, 1965. They had two sons, Scott Michael and Jeffrey James.
Jim worked nine years for Platte Valley Packing at Darr, Neb., and from then on Jim and Donna farmed, ranched and operated several ag businesses. For 27 years he was a Pioneer dealer. Most recently, he focused on sustainable, renewable, carbon free energy.
He spent the last 25 years supporting and directing the west’s changing water use on a local, state and national level, focusing on water quality, water quantity and property rights. In 1990 he co-founded Nebraska Water Users Inc., a non-profit civic league, and joined the west-wide Family Farm Alliance (FFA). Within the FFA he worked with Senators, Congressmen and their staffs writing Endangered Species Act, Environmental Protection Act and Department of Interior legislation. He served as a director and farmer lobbyist with the FFA, coordinated a monthly educational newsletter, “Water Review,” and served on a task force that developed an “Economic White Paper” that focused on irrigated agriculture’s national economic importance.
His vast knowledge earned him many awards throughout the years. Among his honors were being inducted to the Nebraska Hall of Agriculture Achievement, recipients of the KRVN Service to Agriculture award, the "Outstanding Leadership Award" from the Family Farm Alliance, Platte River Endangered Species Partnership Award, Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce Family Farm of the Year and Agri-business Awards, Nebraska Water Users awards, as well as Central District Water Users Awards.
With the assistance of Doran Post, Jim became involved in Masons and was a Blue Lodge Master Mason of Thistle Lodge 61; Sir Knight, Order of Knights Templar; York Rite Shrine of Freemasonry; Noble, Tehama Shrine; and 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Shrine Member, Hastings.
At an early age Jim became proficient in firearms and remembered well his first recoil from shooting a 16-gauge single-shot shotgun. It took off from there and he became a long-range shooting enthusiast.
Jim was a lifelong member of the First United Methodist Church in Lexington. He was also a member of many organizations, and boards too numerous to name. He was surrounded by many wonderful friends - you all know who you are!
Jim was so proud of his family. Following Donna's death, which took a huge toll on him, he finished raising the boys, and wanted them to know how very proud he was of them.
Survivors include his sons; Scott (Kris) Lundgren of Scott City, Kan., Jeff Lundgren of Cozad, Neb.; grandchildren Kendra (Trent) Witthuhn of Bazine, Kan,; Chase, Chloe and Chayna Lundgren, all of Kearney, Neb.; one brother-in-law, John Wyant of Newman Grove, Neb.; one sister-in-law, Dee Joliffe of Fort Collins, Colo.; nephews Josh (Jennifer) Wyant of Overland Park, Kan., and Jason (Melissa) Wyant of Raleigh, N.C.; as well as many other relatives, friends and associates.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Donna Jean on Feb. 17, 1987 and his sister Jean Wyant.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, at 10 a.m. at First United Methodist Church with the Rev. Anne Gahn, officiating. Masks are mandatory at the church. The service will be livestreamed from the church at: firstchurchlex.org.
Visitation is Friday, Dec. 18, 2020 from 4-7 p.m. with family present from 5-6 p.m. at Reynolds-Love Funeral Chapel in Lexington. Burial will take place at Mt. Hope Cemetery near Lexington. Memorials are suggested to the Tehama Shrine, First United Methodist Church, or Lexington Regional Hospital Foundation.
Reynolds-Love Funeral Home in Lexington is honored to be assisting the family with arrangements. Please share online condolences with the family by visiting: reynoldslovefuneralhome.com