James “Jim” Herbert Laas

James “Jim” Herbert Laas, Aug. 26, 1931-May 7, 2020

 

 His family will hold a private service with military honors and cowboy boots; just as Jim wanted. Arrangements provided by Holden Cremation and Funeral Service, Sparta.

The world got a little darker May 7, when Jim closed his beautiful, mischievous, dancing blue eyes for the last time.

Big Jim. The man. The myth. The legend. To know him was to love him...or hate him, there was not an in between with Jim. He would give you the shirt off his back or his boot up your ass, both with complete sincerity. 

He was a wonderful storyteller with thousands of them in store; you never knew which half was true and which was created from his brilliant mind. He was hilarious, or deeply offensive to the faint of heart, with a penchant for swearing in casual conversation that was truly unmatched. When in Jim’s orbit, whether he donned a three-piece suit, flight suit or cowboy boots, you knew he was fully present there with you. He loved with his whole heart, laughed (and yelled) with his entire body, and protected others with his very existence. He possessed more personality and charisma in his little finger than most could dream of having. He was cranky, inappropriate, strict and unapologetically larger than life.

He was fiercely proud of his long military service, bail bond business, handlebar mustache, disdain for idiots and politicians, and above all: his family. He would proudly tell anyone how many offspring he sired, and gladly share all their life’s details unprompted.

Survivors include the love of his life Colleen, who continued to laugh with him until the end. Eight children: Pam, Sandy, Andy, Tia, Shannon, Kelly, Genevieve, and Patrick. 17 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. Yes, his kingdom was vast. He is preceded in death by his parents, two daughters Darlene and Bev, and hundreds of family and friends. Hell, he wanted to outlast us all.

He touched the lives of everyone he met, both good and bad, without hesitation.

In lieu of flowers (which Jim would have promptly thrown away), the family asks that you share your best Big Jim story with Jack Daniel’s and a toast to him. Also, consider donating to a dementia or Parkinson’s organization in his honor to help stop these diseases from stealing more stories. 

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