Alfred James (Jim) Bosma was born June 29, 1924, the 13th child of Thomas and Florence Bosma. At the time of his passing he was the last surviving sibling, and desperately missed his family. Jim was adored and fussed over by his older sisters, but as all farm boys he learned to work at a very young age. He told stories of helping Pa hitch up the team at 9 years old, of him dragging corn with the horse and harrow and getting caught in a hail storm...the horse bolted and thru the fence they went! He attended country school through eighth grade. He was a natural with math, and even after he became a resident at Timely Mission he would recite math problems just to test us!
Jim was a US Navy WW2 Veteran, honorably discharged in 1946. Like many young men, the Navy was his 1st BIG life experience. He was proud of his service BUT despised war. He was a lifetime member of VFW and later an American Legion member. After returning home from the Navy he lived and worked as the hired man for his sister and husband Norman and Annabelle Oswald. He then started learning carpentry by working with Bud Olson in Buffalo Center. They built many homes in the area. He then worked as a carpenter in Mason city. He quite often talked about building the old Purina soybean processing plant as the last project he was involved in - and learned he was not fond of heights!
He met his wife of 43 years Joyce Shull Becker while she was in beauty school. She was staying with her friend and classmate Dee Haroldson, who just happened to be Jim's niece! After a short courtship they were married August 29, 1952. Jim became an instant father to Joyce's young daughter Suzanne. Their family grew when son Steven was born March 6, 1953. In 1955 they moved back south of Buffalo Center area and started share crop farming with Gus Keigle. In 1959 the family moved north of town, around the corner from little brother Clarence and his family. After a short time, Jim was given the opportunity to buy the acreage and farmland. He and brother Clarence farmed together until Clarence transitioned into the crop insurance and finance profession.
Through the years Jim was active member of the First Reformed Church, serving as both elder and deacon. His construction experience made him a natural "go to" during the church addition and remodel in the 70's. He was involved in the pastoral call for Rev. Bill Peake. He also served on the Timely Mission board of directors.
Jim was happy (yet apprehensive) when their son Steve returned home from the Navy in 1977 and wanted to farm. Father and son farmed side by side until Jim retired in in the early 90's. Jim continued to help Steve farm for a number of years after retiring. You know you can take the farmer off the farm, but not taking the farming out of the farmer! In July 1980, Steve married a local Buffalo Center girl, Sue Jensvold. In June, 1982 their first child Jesse Thomas was born, and Jim joined the grandpa group! Then in December 1984 little Katie Ellen came along! Grandpa X 2! He loved when the grands would bring him snacks and ride in the combine with him!
After his wife Joyce passed away in January 1995, Jim started seeing their old friend Norma Quamme. They married in December, 1996. Jim moved off the farm to live in Norma's "town house" where they enjoyed their encore marriage until Norma passed away in 2015. On the heels of losing Norma, Jim also grieved the loss of his great-grandson Titus and stepdaughter Suzanne just 2 days apart. After Norma's passing Jim moved to the PERFECT apartment. The Tribune apartment location made it possible for him to live independently. Since he no longer drove, he could walk to the bank, post office and grocery store! During the summer months he would walk several blocks per day. He continued to live independently until a bad fall forced him to move to Timely Mission nursing home in August 2019.
While a resident at Timely Mission, Jim connected with old friends and made new ones! Like most, he was never overly happy about being there. The staff did their best to keep his spirits up. The COVID pandemic and shutdown just complicated our ability to stay connected. At 96, he survived COVID with few side effects.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents; 13 siblings; his first wife Joyce in 1995; his second wife Norma in 2014; his stepdaughter, Suzanne Becker; and a great-grandson, Titus Steven Bosma.
Jim is survived by his son Steven Bosma and his wife Sue; a grandson Jesse Bosma and his wife Kelsey; a granddaughter Katie Bosma; 3 great-grandchildren, Kaiden, Gabby and Wyatt; and many nieces and nephews.
"OUR TOUGH OLD BIRD!"