James Bruer Soester was born in Crawford Aug. 15, 1940, to James Marvin Soester and Mariellen (Bruer) Soester. His death on Nov. 20, 2018, at Crestview Manor in Chadron, followed a brief, yet devastating, illness.
Following his early 12 years of school in Crawford, Jim or J.B as he was known in the community, continued his education at St. Thomas' Seminary in Denver, Colo., for three and a half years. He then went to St. Louis, Mo., where he attended the Kenrick House Monastery for one and a half years.
Jim first worked as a surgical technician while attending the Seminary in Denver. Beginning in 1963 through 1970, he taught English and library science at Assumption Academy in Chadron. He became the head of technical services - data services for the Topeka Public Library, and remained there until 1974, before becoming the regional systems director, overseeing 62 libraries in Kansas. Jim returned to Chadron in 1977, and began his employment at Chadron State College, working 25 years as the reference librarian and teaching library science courses while there.
After retirement, Jim returned to Crawford and dedicated his time to various community activities, including the Crawford Public Library Board and the Crawford Historical Museum. He also began to take more time for his hobbies, especially photography and writing. In recent years, Jim had become quite
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interested in genealogy and spent many hours assisting others in this area.
J.B. always told others he had 10 glorious years before his sister, Margaret Ann Stephens, joined the family. In addition to his sister and her husband, Dale Stephens, J.B. is survived by a nephew, Benjamin J. Garvin, and his wife, Robyn (Rincker), along with four great-nephews,Owen Rincker, Benjamin Garvin, Case Garvin, and Shawn Garvin; and three great-nieces, Aly Dane, Kaylee Garvin and Tamra Garvin.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Jim and Mariellen Soester, maternal grandparents, John. H and Pearl (Dolen), Bruer, paternal grandparents, William and Opha (Lemons) Soester, and nephew, Michael Lawrence Garvin.
At his request, his body has been cremated and no funeral service will be held. He requested that any donations the family received in remembrance of his life be distributed to the Crawford Library and Crawford Historical Museum.