Obituary: James McGimpsey


James W. McGimpsey, 80, of Eldridge, was called home on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, at Genesis Medical Center, Davenport.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 26, at Cornerstone Baptist Church, Eldridge.  Visitation will be Wednesday (today) from 5–7 p.m. at Chambers Funeral Home, Eldridge.  

Jim was born on July 21, 1942, in Moline, to William and Ethel (Richardson) McGimpsey.  A proud U.S. Navy veteran, Jim’s greatest achievement was convincing Deloris “Dee” Stroud to marry him on Oct. 11, 1969, at Grandview Baptist Church in Davenport. After 53 years of marriage, only death could part them. 

Jim found his calling as a Local 111 ironworker - building bridges, teaching apprentices, and generally bossing people around for 30 glorious years before retiring in 2004.  The only thing that brought Jim more joy than building bridges was showing people the bridges that he built.  

Jim’s life centered on his faith and his family. Jim made sure his two daughters and his wife felt his love and encouragement every single day. He impacted countless lives through the ministries of Grandview Baptist Church, Cornerstone Baptist Church, Pine Lake Camp in Eldora, Iowa, and Lake Aurora Camp in Lake Wales, Fla.  No one who met Jim will forget his epic stories, love of popcorn, booming voice, mischievous sense of humor, and endless ability to love.   

Those left to honor his life are his wife, Deloris “Dee” of Eldridge; daughters, Jennifer McGimpsey of Omaha, Neb., and Amiee McGimpsey of Washington, D.C.; sister, Pam Rolens of Branson, Mo.; brother, Dennis McGimpsey of Davenport; and numerous nieces and nephews that affectionately called him “Uncle Gummy Bear.”

He was preceded in death by his parents, stepfather Joe Cole, and siblings, Dorothy Claeys and Gerald McGimpsey.

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