Jim DeMeerleer

Jim DeMeerleer Photo 001James B. “Jim” DeMeerleer, a longtime Moscow businessman and civic leader, died peacefully at his home with his family on September 17, 2015. Jim was 73.

 Jim was born June 3, 1942 at Aberdeen, WA to Walter and Jeanne (Burke) DeMeerleer. He grew up and attended school in Tacoma, graduating from Lincoln High School there. He then enrolled at Washington State University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business. During the summers, Jim worked commercial fishing in Alaska to help fund his education.

 Following graduation, Jim was in a partnership with Shell Oil in Bellevue, WA before joining his uncle Roy Burke as a partner in Surplus Furniture in Moscow. Jim purchased the store, and in the late 1970’s built Furniture Center at its present location in Moscow. He later expanded the operation, buying out Furniture West in Moscow and 9 other locations in the Northwest.

 Jim enjoyed horseback riding, trophy hunting, fishing, camping, rowing, traveling and many other outdoor activities including being a private pilot to remote locations. He was also an active community leader. Jim was instrumental in the Moscow Rural Fire Department equipping the volunteers and obtaining any apparatus needed. He served as State Fire Commissioner President, Moscow Chamber of Commerce President, Lion’s Club President, was a member of the Masonic and Shrine Lodges, The Moscow Executive Association, the Elk’s and Eagle’s Lodges, served as a Boy Scout Leader, Vandal Boosters, WSU Booster as well as many other clubs and organizations.

 Jim and Eugenia Webster were married in Moscow on February 24, 1964, had three children together and were later divorced. He was married to Trudy Glaesemann on May 11, 1985 at Coeur d’Alene. They too were later divorced, however Trudy along with Jim’s closest friend, Jim Haneline were Jim’s primary caregivers during his final days.

 Surviving are his children, Eugene R. (Velma) DeMeerleer in Moscow and Jennifer R. DeMeerleer (John) in Liberty Lake, WA; five grandchildren, Rachel, Colton, Janelle, Jacey and Valerie. He also leaves his mother, Jeanne L. Burke of Tacoma and brothers, Walter (Brent) and Lynn DeMeerleer and Mark (Carol) DeMeerleer all of Moscow and sisters, Renee DeMeerleer of Tacoma and Diane (Dennis) Erlenmeyer of Puyallup, WA and several nieces and nephews.

 Jim was preceded in death by his father, Walter, in 1999 and a son, Jan R. DeMeerleer in 2010.

 A memorial service will be held Sunday, October 4th at 2:00 PM at the Moscow First United Methodist Church. Pastor Shane Moore will officiate and a reception will follow in the church fellowship hall.

 The family suggests memorials be made to the Moscow Rural Fire Department, PO Box 8626, Moscow, ID 83843.

 Arrangements have been entrusted to Short’s Funeral Chapel, Moscow, and online condolences may be sent to www.shortsfuneralchapel.net.



4 Responses to Jim DeMeerleer

  1. Rob and Heather Cashell says:

    Gene, Velma and the extended family,

    Our condolences on the lose of your Dad. We will be thinking of you and sending prayers your way.

    The Cashell Family

  2. Rex & Anne Cosgrove says:

    Dear Family, We are so sorry for your loss. What a great man. Jim was always so positive & up. Always a great uplifting visit. Jim made Moscow a better place to live, work & play. Our time as neighbors at Dworshak was special. Many, many great memories hunting, fishing, skiing and just “doing stuff”. Jim was very good to me and my family. I will miss but always have great memories of my friend ” Jimmy D”.

  3. Laura Burke Kornelis says:

    Dear Family,
    We send love and God’ s peace as you miss your Son, brother, and Dad: Jim
    I loved laughing with Jim and comparing notes on our pioneer spirits. He was a doozy and we will miss him.
    His love of life and great ideas for business and fun he passed on.
    Take care and love,

  4. Tim Vargas says:

    Jim was a great guy with a real passion for the fire service having served as Fire Commissioner of the Moscow Rural Fire Department for many years. I first met Jim while attending the Annual Conference of the Idaho State Fire Commissioners Association an association he was instrumental in helping to build and for which he served as it’s president on more than one occasion. The organization, ISFCA, has grown and expanded its influence over the years. Much of ISFCA’s success comes as a direct result of the many years Jim served and worked toward the goal of putting together a professional organization to represent and assist with the needs of fire commissioners throughout the state of Idaho. He will always be remembered for being upbeat, passionate, and for having a “good head” on his shoulders. Jim will be missed but not forgotten.

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