August 2, 1919 ~ January 7, 2009
James Buresh was born on the family farm 9 miles west of Caldwell, KS, Aug. 2, 1919, the youngest son of Anton and Mary L. (Petrik) Buresh. Of their eight children, six survived to adulthood, four older siblings, Jim, and one younger sister. He was of Czech descent and spoke the language fluently. Jim attended the Scott School through the eighth grade. At the age of 16, he was the leader of a nine piece orchestra. They played at dances for a number of years.
On December 16, 1944 he married Helen Ruth Allen of Louisville, KY in Columbia, SC. To this union were born three children, Mary Jeannette, Linda Kay and James Allen. Jim volunteered for the Armed Forces during WWII and as a sergeant, was a tank mechanic and instructor for 4 years. He received two battle stars in the European Theater. He also received a citation for inventing the first power suspension lifting device on a tank.
A member of the First Presbyterian Church, Jim served as Deacon, Trustee and for six years served as superintendent of the Church School. A farmer by vocation, Jim raised livestock and wheat on 700 acres. He was known for having one of the best farms around Caldwell. Jim was very proud of his Czech heritage and was a charter member of the Caldwell Czech Chapter #1, helping to organize it and serving as president. He was also a member of Lodge Trocnov #121 for 56 years and served as its president for 10 years. For 15 years he was chairman of the Czechoslovakian Cemetery Board.
He was also actively involved in the Caldwell Lions Club and the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce, serving on the Board of Directors of both organizations. Jim was a 50 year member of ATA (Anti-Thief Association) of Caldwell and a member of the Masonic Lodge #203 in Caldwell, a 32 degree Mason in the Scottish Rite in Wichita, Kansas.
For 10 years Jim served as President of the Sumner County Fair, during which time it was completely reorganized and new buildings were constructed. He was also instrumental in starting Czech Day in Caldwell in conjunction with the county fair. Jim was a Charter Board Member of the Regional Planning Commission which worked with the zoning of rural
and urban areas in Sumner County. He was also elected a committeeman for the Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service for 20 years.
Jim was a land and property appraiser and was hired by the County Commissioners to help reappraise over 722,000 acres of rural farmland involving a valuation of over $26,000,000. He also served on the County ASCS Board for 9 years and as commander of the V. F. W. Post for 8 years.
Ice skating parties on the farm pond were a popular pastime during the winter months with Jim furnishing the skates and refreshments. Area nursing homes enjoyed Jim stopping by and entertaining them by playing his accordion and singing Czech and American songs.
On May 15, 2002, increasing dementia forced Jim to move to North Richland Hills, Texas where he could be closer to family. After a fall caused broken bones, Jim was released to Keller Oakes Rehab where he died on Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at the age of 89.
Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Helen, and a daughter, Jeannette Ehlers. He is survived by a daughter and her husband, Linda and Jess Newkirk of Columbia, MO, a son and his wife, James Allen and Vonette Buresh of Ft. Worth, TX, a brother, George Buresh of Caldwell, KS, and a sister, Helen Marshall of Las Vegas, NV. Jim’s legacy also includes 6 grandchildren, Jeff Ehlers, Tim Newkirk, Jolene Evans, Brad Newkirk, Amy Buresh, and Stacy Boone, and 13 great-grandchildren.
Friends may call at the funeral home 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Saturday, January 10, 2009. Funeral services will be held 2:00 p.m. Sunday, January 11, 2009 at the Presbyterian Church in Caldwell, Kansas. Memorials may be given in Jim's name to the Czechoslovakian Cemetery or to the Alzheimer Association Mid Missouri Chapter in care of the mortuary.
Family and Friends - 01/08/2009
I am sorry for your lose. I worked for Jim when I first came to Caldwell, many years ago. I remember one time
when we were working on the drill and I was hammering something he was holding. I hit his finger very hard.
He didn't get mad, didn't say anything except, that hurt. He was a very nice person. Jeanine Bevan
Jerry & Cathy Newland, Jenny & Andy
Family and Friends - 01/09/2009
We have fond memories of Jim. and his crazy antics. and the farm. and all the Buresh family. love to all
Family and Friends - 01/12/2009
I fondly look back at my summers working for Jim as a teenager. He taught me how to drive a combine, tractor,
truck, and how to back a trailer. All of these things have come in handy over the years. I was a small part of
Jim's life, but he was a large part of mine, developing who I was to become. Working hard, enjoying life, and
contributing his time and talents to others, is how I remember Jim. I run accross my dime-on ring every so often,
and it always brings a smile.