James (Jim) L. Meinsma of Middleburgh, NY died peacefully at home on Monday, February 21, 2022. Born January 1, 1947 in Fulton, Illinois, he was the son of Henry Charles and Marian Amelia (Beveroth) Meinsma.
Jim began his early education in the one-room Lincoln School in Whiteside County, continuing at Union Grove after the two grade schools were consolidated. He graduated from Fulton High School in 1965 as valedictorian of his class, and earned his bachelor's degree from Central College in Pella, Iowa, majoring in sociology and theater design. It was at Central College where he also met his wife of 53 years, Joanne (Jody) Snyder. Married on August 23, 1968, Jim and Jody settled in Middleburgh in 1970 where he worked in his father-in-law's land surveying business and began the renovation of their home on Middle Fort Road. Some years later, Jim began his career as an insurance agent, first as an agent with Prudential, then founding Meinsma Insurance Agency in Schoharie, NY in 1988.
Always a community servant, Jim enjoyed lending his skills in set and lighting design to the Timothy Murphy Playhouse and Depot Lane Singers. In the late 1980s, he transferred his creative talents to the streets of Middleburgh where, as a member of Rotary, he formed a committee to install Christmas lights and decorations. As a Rotarian, Jim also pursued the installation of a skating rink in the village, and was long involved in the Youth Exchange program, serving for some years as the District 7190 chairman. Jim also gave countless hours to other community organizations and projects, including the Main Street Revitalization, Dam Concerned Citizens, Colonial Heritage, and serving as member and president of the Schoharie County Board of Health. A man of deep faith, Jim also gave generously of his time and talents to the Reformed Church in America and local congregations where he served as an elder and deacon and volunteered in many capacities.
In his “spare time,” Jim enjoyed raking leaves, taming landscapes to resemble the flat, open terrain of the Midwest where he grew up, making sure the neighborhood birds, squirrels and chipmunks were well-fed, coming up with countless DIY project ideas, lending a helping hand to others, pondering how to improve his community, and good-naturedly teasing his grandchildren. He also poured his heart and soul into a second restoration of his home after it was nearly destroyed by flood in 2011.
Survivors include his wife: Joanne (Jody) Meinsma of Middleburgh, NY; his daughter: Dama Lewis; grandchildren: William R. Lewis and Abigail S. Lewis, all of Malvern, PA; siblings: Gerald (Marcia) Meinsma and Kenneth (Joyce) Meinsma of Morrison, IL, Darrell (Sally) Meinsma, and Betty (Dan) Holesinger of Fulton, IL; sisters-in-law: Margaret (Bill) Corradino, Elizabeth (Jacke) DuPont, and Bonnie Snyder; brother-in-law: James Snyder, all of Middleburgh, NY and numerous beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, cousins-in-law and grand-nieces and nephews. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Donald Meinsma, sister Sue Buhlig, brother-in-law Dean Buhlig, and sister-in-law Betty Jo Meinsma.
A visitation will be held on Friday, March 11, 2022 from 6-8PM at Coltrain Funeral Home, LLC 134 River Street, Middleburgh, NY 12122.
**Due to the threat of bad weather, the Celebration of Jim’s life has been changed to Sunday, March 13, 2022 at 1PM at the First Reformed Church of Berne, 1663 Helderberg Trail, Berne, NY 12023.
Private inurnment will take place in Middleburgh Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the First Reformed Church of Berne, 1663 Helderberg Trail, Berne, NY 12023, Middleburgh Rotary PO Box 1100, Middleburgh, NY 12122 or Schoharie Colonial Heritage Association, PO Box 554, Schoharie, NY 12157.