Cover photo for James Ernest Peister's Obituary
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1939 James 2021

James Ernest Peister

January 29, 1939 — May 2, 2021

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Former Broken Bow City Clerk/Administrator of 30 years, Tax/Accounting Professional of 50+ Years, U.S. Marine Corporal, Coach, Husband, Father, & Grandfather

   James “Jim” Ernest Peister Sr.; 82, a lifelong resident of Broken Bow, Neb, passed away Sunday May. 2nd 2021 in his home, just below the room where he took his first breath of life on January 29, 1939. He was firstborn son to James Thurston Valentine and Geraldine (Watts) Valentine.  The birth residence was built in 1931 by his grandparents, Ernest & Mary Luree (Williams) Watts, and was the home Jim resided in 1968 until his death.  Geraldine (Watts) Valentine married Paul W. Peister in Sept 1942, who shortly thereafter adopted Jim.

   Jim graduated from Broken Bow High School in 1957, studied Accounting at McCook Junior College 1959, and finished college with a major in Public Administration from Denver University in 1961.  After college, he proudly joined the United States Marine Corp and served until 1964, earning the rank of E4 Corporal.

   Jim returned to Broken Bow from the Marine Corps at age 25 to join his father Paul in the accounting and tax business.  A business Jim continued for over 50 years, where he served not only Custer County area residents, but clients from all over the Midwest.  Jim specialized in working for area sale barns, ranchers, and farmers.  He diligently worked for the residents of Broken Bow in the capacity of City Clerk & Administrator for 30 years.  He was certified as a municipal clerk and awarded membership into the International Institute of Municipal Clerks in 1972.  He also served as Chairman of the State of Nebraska Municipal Accounting and Finance Section in 1978-79.  Jim was awarded Outstanding Municipal Clerk by the League of Nebraska Municipalities in 1982.   

  Jim Peister’s professional career was instrumental in the growth and development of the community of Broken Bow.  Melham Park, and Melham Lake, at the time voted top 5 in the nation Olympic size pool; the Broken Bow Living Memorial program; the current 40 unit "High Rise” elderly residence, and 40 additional scattered residences for low-income residents; a controversial Muddy Creek flood project (thank god in Sept, 2019 for that); the replacement of the Fire/Police departments (post 1966 fire destruction), and the establishment of the current city municipal building are all signatures of the service, friendship, and tradition that Jim Peister cultivated within the Broken Bow community.   

   Jim Peister, the Sportsman, was also very instrumental in Broken Bow and surrounding communities.  He was a founding member and guide of the first Broken Bow One Box Pheasant Hunt in 1960, the One Box Sharptail Grouse Hunt in Ashern, Manitoba Canada in 1968, and the Litchfield, Nebraska, Dads, Lads & Lassie Hunt in 1975.  These community hunts have positively impacted the lives of hundreds of individuals and families for six decades.  Although he may have called it a hobby, he embraced his role as the Broken Bow head swim team coach for 20 years as a second career.  His extraordinary influence will undoubtedly continue to be felt for many years to come.  In addition to coaching and hunting, Jim was an avid gardener and Cornhusker fan.

   Jim Peister is survived by his current wife Leah (Javinar) Peister, whom he joyfully married in October 2010, and his first wife Judy (Schober) Peister.  He is also survived by his daughter Ann L. (Peister) Stewart, son James E. Peister, Jr., daughter-in-law Sherri (Morgan) Peister, and four grandchildren: Jacob, Nakia, Morgan, and Mitchell.  His two sisters Linda (Peister) Conn, Talent, OR; Deb (Peister) Bliven, Salem, OR; as well as several cousins, nieces and nephews.

 Memorial service will be held at Govier Brothers of Broken Bow, on Saturday, May 15th 2021 at 10:30 am with burial to follow at Broken Bow Cemetery with military honors. Visitation will take place May 13th from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm at Govier Brothers Mortuary with the family greeting friends 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm.  Jim’s family will be collecting donations for his chosen memorials to the Living Tree Memorial in Melham Park, a One Box Pheasant Hunt Benefit, with youth sportsman development projects, and to the Melham Hospital organization.



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