A Celebration of Life will be held at 1:30 pm on Saturday, June 25, 2022, at The Heritage Town Center in Buffalo Center, Iowa with Pastor Bill Peake officiating with visitation 1 hour prior. There will be a private family burial at West Lutheran Cemetery near Rake, Iowa. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established.
James, "Jim," was born October 30, 1952, in Albert Lea, Minnesota the son of Raemon and Annabel (Russ) Wubben and the grandson of Dr. J.E. Russ of Rake. Jim was baptized, confirmed, and a lifelong member of The First Reformed Church in Buffalo Center.
"You can take the boy out of the farm, but you can't take the farm out of the boy."
Jim grew up and loved the family farm near Rake. He was always helping with planting and harvesting, care of the pigs, cattle, sheep and doing the chicken chores. He loved the outdoors: whether it be planting flowers, mowing, pulling weeds, baling hay or even walking beans. As a youngster, he found success in the 4H program with photography projects and showing Yorkshire Pigs, Angus Cattle, and entering BBQ/Grilling contests. It's been said he has more than one purple ribbon.
In 1971, Jim graduated from Rake High School as Valedictorian and with perfect attendance from kindergarten through 12th grade. In 1973, he graduated from Waldorf College and in 1975 from Iowa State University (ISU) with a bachelor's degree in Restaurant and Institutional Management. He also graduated from the World Wide College of Auctioneering in Mason City, Iowa.
In the immediate years after ISU graduation, Jim worked as manager for various companies including Happy Chef, Perkins, Target, and Wendy's. He also enjoyed-- along with his brother, Les -- doing magic shows for elementary students, Veterans homes, and care centers in Ames and the surrounding communities. Jim and Les called themselves, "The Misters of Magic."
Mister James Wubben was united in marriage to Sue Morrison on December 17, 1978, in Newhall, Iowa. They made their home in rural Buffalo Center and opened Drivers Choice Restaurant in 1979. They shared their lives working together side by side until they were forced to retire in 2017.
"Jimbo," as he was dubbed by a memorable waitress, was always ambitious and for most of the years at The Drivers Choice worked twelve-hour days seven days a week. He worked hard; but he thoroughly enjoyed visiting with his loyal customers and exceptional employees, building many lifelong friendships.
Despite working long hours, Jimbo took great pride in his children and was a loving Dad to his three girls. While many family memories were made both working and hanging out at "The Choice," he could also be spotted with a camcorder capturing memories and milestones at their school concerts, dance recitals, or on special holidays and birthdays. When asked if he was sad that he never had a son, he'd respond without hesitation, "Nope! I wouldn't have it any other way!"
Music was also enjoyed by Jim and it actually became very therapeutic in these last few years; he adored children and dogs and he loved the Christmas Season where he found joy in holiday decorating.
Thoughtful and kindhearted with a sense of humor could be used to describe Jimbo. He was happy and willing to lend a helping hand whenever he could, was respectful towards everyone, and yet...he was always up for a good prank! Along with his brother, Les, he was known for his tricks involving hot fudge sundaes made of mashed potatoes, adding Ex-Lax to chocolate chip cookies, and even placing a chicken leg in the cash register drawer at Drivers Choice just to hear his wife scream when she would open it.
Jim was surrounded by love at the time of his passing, and we truly believe he could feel our love. We know his legacy will be long-lived in many happy memories.
Left to cherish these memories are his wife, Sue, his amazing, devoted, and dearly loved daughters and sons-in-law; Amanda and Joshua Weister, Melissa and Anthony Aukes, and Jessica Wubben. Jim was blessed with grandchildren-- Reed Aukes 5, Oliver Weister 4, Camilla Weister 1, and Baby Boy Aukes to arrive in October.
Jim's years with his grandchildren were too short and contaminated by his disease, but boy could you see the twinkle of love in his eye when he learned about them or held them!
He also leaves behind a brother, Donald Wubben and his family; sister-in-law, Jodi Wubben and nephews Anthony (and family), Jonathan, and niece Laura; and brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Don and Amy Frazier and nieces Rachel Ward (and family) and Ashlee Ritscher (and family).
He was preceded in death by his parents, father-in-law and mother-in-law, Alden and Corleen Morrison; and his brother, Leslie Alan Wubben.
Jim also appreciated short obituaries. Oops.