ARAPAHOE -- James D. "Jim" Mather, 85, died Sunday (Oct. 12, 2003) at his home in Arapahoe.
He was born Feb. 7, 1918, to Delmer and Almeda (Runyan) Mather in Arapahoe. He attended Arapahoe Public Schools where he graduated with the class of 1936. After graduation, he attended the University of Nebraska from 1936-1937 and Peru State College from 1939-1941.
On May 31, 1941, he married Donna Joyce Vandruff in McCook. In 1942, he entered the Army Air Corp until his discharge in 1946. He returned to Peru State College and graduated in 1947. After graduation he taught and coached at Franklin, Jamestown and Phillipsburg, Kan., Wymore and Dannebrog and Sunrise, Wyo. He returned to Arapahoe where he worked as a crop insurance adjustor until 1996, when he retired.
He had the All Class Nebraska State Long Jump record from 1936-1961 and the Class C record until 1970 and still has the Arapahoe and RVL record in the long jump and 200 meters. He still has the Peru State College 100 meter record. He was inducted into Peru State College Athletic Hall of Fame as individual athlete in 1989 and with the 1940 football team in 1990. He was inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1998. The Arapahoe Invitation Track Meet is named after him.
He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Arapahoe and the American Legion of Wymore.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Claude; two sisters, Lois Harris and Sylvia Mather; and one daughter, Meridel Mather.
Survivors include his wife, Joyce Mather of Arapahoe; two sons, Jim and wife, Mary Mather of Oshkosh and Steve and wife, Julee Mather of Kearney; two daughters, Lynn and husband, Wes Musser of Laurel, Md., and Jeryl and Phil Hauptman of Lincoln; and seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Services are Thursday, 10:30 a.m., at the First United Methodist Church in Arapahoe with the Rev. Hyeongdong Baek officiating. Cremation will follow the service.
Visitation is Tuesday, 1-8 p.m., Wednesday 9 a.m.-8 p.m., at Wenburg Funeral Home in Arapahoe. The casket will only be open at the funeral home.
Wenburg Funeral Home of Arapahoe is in charge of arrangements.