James Peter Jonker, son of Peter James and Rachel DeJong Jonker, was born Jan. 19, 1926 at the rural home of his parents near Peoria, Ia. He was a graduate of the Peoria Christian Grade School and later earned his G.E.D. Jim helped his dad on the family farm prior to his enlistment in the Army in 1951. He served his country during the Korean War. Following an honorable discharge, James returned to help his father on the family farm east of Peoria. March 4, 1953, he married Harriett Marie Swank at the Peoria Christian Reformed Church. They made their home on the family farm until a fire destroyed their home in 1956. Jim joined the Iowa State Patrol in 1957. Over the years, Jim served in Ottumwa, Parkersburg, Oskaloosa, Cedar Rapids and Spencer. He served the patrol until 1981 when he retired as a lieutenant. That year he was appointed as the United States Marshal for the Northern District of Iowa and he and Harriett resided in Cedar Rapids. He retired from that appointment in 1994, having served under three U.S. Presidents. In 1996, they moved to Pella, Ia. Jim moved to Oskaloosa in 2006.
Jim enjoyed sports; he competed as a sharp shooter and pitched on fast pitch softball teams. He was an avid baseball fan and loved following the St. Louis Cardinals. Jim was a life-long member of the Christian Reformed Church.
Jim's family includes his children and their spouses: Nancy and Richard Boland of Oskaloosa, Laura Jonker of Iowa City, Dan and Faith Jonker of Holland, Mich., Mark and Stephanie Jonker of Shreveport, La., and Tom and Val Jonker of Cedar Rapids, Ia.; 14 grandchildren: Nick Boland, Luke and Tony Hardy, Joe and Leah Jonker, Calvin, Rosie, Arie, Annalies, Fritz, and Wenona Jonker, and Bailey, Riley and Carley Jonker; and a sister and brother-in-law, Edith and Art Meppelink of Pella, Ia.
In addition to his parents, Jim was preceded in death by his wife, on April 14, 2004; three sisters: Matilda Vos, Wilma Bokhoven and Cora Hol.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011 at the Peoria Christian Reformed Church in Peoria with Rev. Alvern Boetsma of the Good News Chapel officiating. Burial will be in Peoria Cemetery. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m., Tuesday, at Garland-Van Arkel-Langkamp Funeral Chapel; the family will be present from 6-8 p.m. to greet visitors. Memorials may be made to Peoria Christian Grade School or Oskaloosa Christian Grade School.