James Laeys

Obituary of James Van Laeys

James “Jimâ€? Van Laeys, son of Alphonse and Gladys (Barr) Van Laeys, was born on June 4, 1917 in Sharon Springs, Kansas, and departed this life October 22, 2005 here in Burlington, Colorado at the age of 88. Jim grew up on a farm located in Northwest Wallace County, Kansas. He attended the Western Star country school where he graduated from the eighth grade. His teacher was Luella Gorscuh. In the middle thirties, during the Great Depression, he worked in a CCC Camp. He received $30.00 a month. He could keep $5.00, and would send the rest home to his mother. She was the most important person in his life. During WWII, he served in the Air Force, getting his basic training at Shepherd Field in Texas. After finishing his basic training, he was shipped out to Burma. When he came home from the Service, he worked on the farm for ten years, at which time his mother passed away. With his mother gone, he left the farm. Jim worked at a variety of jobs. For several summers, he worked on a pea farm in Washington State. When the summer was over, he would return to Kansas for the winter. He worked at the local elevator and at the Amack Filling Station for several years. He was a quiet man. Reading was something which he enjoyed doing all of his life. He was a man of many talents and was very self-sufficient. Jim was preceded in death by his parents and a brother Joe. He is survived by two sisters; Helen Amack of Burlington, Colorado and Virginia Anderson of Dalles, Oregon, as well as numerous nieces, nephews and friends. Memorials may be made in James’ name to the Salvation Army and may be left at the Bank of the West in Burlington.
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