JAMES F. OPPERMAN, age 84
Of New Bremen, died on Sunday, February 26, 2023 at 6:00 A.M. at his home in New Bremen. He was born on November 25, 1938 in New Bremen, the son of Charles L. and Kathryn R (Vornholt) Opperman. On September 17, 1960, he married Carol A. Hemmelgarn who survives in New Bremen. Also surviving are their children: Pam and Jay Bergman of Celina, Beth and Mike Wente of Minster, Steve Opperman of Pittsburgh, PA, Sandy and Craig Meyer of New Bremen, Jenny and Michael Allen of New Knoxville, and Josh and Amy Opperman of New Bremen. Other survivors include his grandchildren: Natalie (Luke dec.) Cathcart, Marcus (Amy) Wente, Courtney (Jonathan) Gilberg, Danielle (Greg) Welling, Mitch (Brooke) Bergman, Haley (Josh) Scott, Caleb (Katie) Allen, Jake Allen, Ryan (Kalyn) Allen, Logan Opperman, Megan Opperman and Taylor Opperman, along with eleven great grandchildren and two on the way. Jim is also survived by his in laws: Marlene and Larry Prenger of Minster, Ron and Diane Hemmelgarn of Cincinnati and Dennis Hemmelgarn of Minster. He was proceeded in death by his sister Ruth Ann Opperman, brother and sisters in-law Paul and Delores Opperman and Babe Hemmelgarn and parents in law Ben and Alvina Hemmelgarn.
Jim had attended Faith Alliance Church in New Bremen, and would also “hold church” on Saturday afternoons around the kitchen table with family and friends, attempting to solve many of the world’s problems. He was a 1957 graduate of New Bremen High School where he set the school record of All Time Leading Scorer (1553 points) of the basketball program, a record still held to this day. He worked for 43 years as a grinder at the former STAMCO in New Bremen. After his retirement, he filled up most of his time by fishing, but he also enjoyed gardening. He was a loving and supportive grandfather who enjoyed attending his grandchildren’s sporting events. Jim was a people person, and loved gathering his family and friends to share his recent catch or to enjoy his barbeque chicken.
Funeral Services will be held on Friday, March 3, 2023 at 10:30 A.M. at the Faith Alliance Church in New Bremen with Pastor Trent Fledderjohann officiating. Interment will follow in the German Protestant Cemetery of New Bremen. Calling Hours will be held on Thursday, March 2, 2023 at Faith Alliance Church from 3:00 until 7:00 P.M., and again on Friday, at the church, from 9:30 A.M. until the time of services. Memorial contributions in memory of Jim be made to New Bremen Emergency Squad or to the New Bremen Athletic Boosters. Gilberg-Hartwig Funeral Home in New Bremen is assisting the family, and online condolences and memories can be left on the funeral home website at www.gilberghartwigfh.com.
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Lisa Thobe saysFebruary 26, 2023 at 7:03 pm
Prayers for peace and comfort for all those who knew and loved Jim. Hold tight to the memories that make you smile.
Alice Hartwig saysFebruary 27, 2023 at 7:43 am
Carol and family, Hugs and prayers!
Tim and Vicki May saysMarch 2, 2023 at 6:34 am
My sympathy and prayers to the entire family. He will be missed, but the memories will last forever. Cherish those moments!
Heather Taylor saysFebruary 27, 2023 at 10:55 am
So sorry for your loss Coach Opperman! Hugs and prayers to you and your family.
Sue Kramer saysFebruary 28, 2023 at 7:39 am
Thoughts and prayers to you Carol & family.
Barbara Tostrick saysFebruary 27, 2023 at 9:08 pm
Sorry for your loss Carol hugs to all of you and family
Roger and Cheryl Barlage saysFebruary 28, 2023 at 11:21 am
Sorry for your family’s loss. Sending prayers and hugs.
Dean and Kate Hartwig saysFebruary 28, 2023 at 12:14 pm
So very sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. Our deepest condolences to the family and all who knew and loved him!
Jill Poppe MacKenzie saysFebruary 28, 2023 at 12:46 pm
Mrs. Opperman and family, lean into your trust in God as you grieve this tremendous loss.
My memories of Mr. Opperman are some of my favorite New Bremen memories. I played basketball with his daughter, Pam; my Dad (John Poppe) had played basketball with Mr. Opperman. Our respective team pictures hung next to each other at the old high school “new” gym. In an act of solidarity across the generations, Mr. Opperman and my Dad “chaperoned” so our team (and a large number of local high schoolers) could party and celebrate High School tournament success.
Mr. Opperman is loved and missed.
Kevin Koesters saysMarch 1, 2023 at 4:58 am
Thinking and praying for you Carol and family during this time. I recall Jim giving me some pointers on my shooting technique as a child. If only I had listened… Blessings!
walt schmitmeyer saysMarch 2, 2023 at 10:45 am
To the Family
We share your sorrow.
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