James L. Niemann

James L. Niemann

James L. Niemann


James L. Niemann, 87, passed away peacefully on Monday, May 6, at Community Memorial Hospital in Sumner surrounded by his family and friends.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 AM, Saturday, May 11, 2024, at St. John Lutheran Church in Sumner with Rev. Tracy Hinkel officiating. Interment will follow at St. John Lutheran Church Cemetery, rural Sumner. Visitation will be held from 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM, Friday, May 10 at Becker & Son Funeral Home in Sumner and for one hour preceding services at the Church on Saturday. Memorials may be made in Jim’s name to St. John Lutheran Church, SEMS, or St. Croix Hospice. Becker & Son Funeral Home in Sumner is assisting Jim’s family. Online condolences may be left at www.beckermilnesrettig.com.

Jim was born December 26, 1936, to Paul & Emma (Klemp) Niemann. Jim graduated from Sumner High School in 1954 where he was a star athlete in basketball, track (where he held a school record for many years) and football. Upon graduation, he attended Wartburg College. In 1956, he joined his father in the family business, Paul Niemann Construction, as a quarry truck driver, a Link-Belt shovel operator, and various other positions, learning the business at his father’s hand.

In 1956, he was joined in marriage to Jean Vargason of Oelwein at Christ United Presbyterian Church. To this sacred union, they brought four beautiful daughters into the world: Jannes, Julie, Susan, and Emalee. Family was always extremely important to Jim. He was very involved in raising his daughters. Vacations were always fun, but it was daily activities and special events that he cherished the most, such car rides in the Ford Model A, picnics, helping his daughters with their homework, attending school events, playing basketball in the driveway, going for long walks, swimming with family at the community pool, and attending company parties.

In 1979 Jim’s father Paul was killed in a car accident and Jim was thrust into the leadership role of Paul Niemann Construction. Through his hard work and foresight, he grew the company far beyond the success of his father, always maintaining the same attributes of his father: honesty, fairness, and hard work. His employees were family to Jim, and he was respected in the community, as well in the construction business in the state of Iowa. He served as director of the Iowa Limestone Producers. Jim was considered a role model for any business owner. Jim sold Paul Niemann Construction in 2019 after 90 years as a family business. At the closing of the business, PNC employed 70 employees, had numerous quarries, and was one of the largest producers of crushed stone, sand, and gravel in the state. Jim also had a role in the machinery used in his business. He often consulted with J.W. Bell engineers helping design and streamline construction equipment that he could use in his own business. He was involved in the creation of a secondary crushing plant and overhead conveyor. He also redesigned the hood of a primary crusher. Many of his improvements have been used in the industry, not just in the designs for his own company.

In 2014, Jim married Sue McDonough at St. John’s Lutheran Church, welcoming to his family Mitch & Megan McDonough, their two sons Vaughn and Vance, Grant & Pam McDonough, their daughter Caitrin, and Liz McDonough & Nick Petersen.

Jim was proud of the Sumner community and supported many of the area industries. He was a life-long member of St. John Lutheran Church and served on various councils throughout the years. Jim was chosen to be Grand Marshal of Sumner Days in 2014 and was honored with a plaque at the Cindy Potratz Memorial Park.

Left to cherish the memory of this good and decent man are his wife Sue, daughter Emalee and son-in-law Randy (Middleton, WI), sister Lois Boercherding (Sumner, IA), granddaughter Darcy Hart (Calvin, OK), and great-grandchildren Carson and Terra Hart (Calvin, OK), nieces and nephews Linda Yungtum, Kayse Delegardelle, Tom Yungtum, Beth Koch, Brenda Meier and Pat Munson.

Jim was preceded in death by wife Jean, daughters Jannes, Julie and Susan, parents Paul and Emma Niemann, in-laws Merle and Ruth Vargason, sister Marilyn Yungtum, brother-in-law Merlin (Curly) Borcherding and Lyle Yungtum, and nephew Dan Yungtum.

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