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Iowa Hall of Famer Jim Coulter dies at 85

December 15, 2015
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James "Jim” Coulter, of New Sharon, Iowa, died Monday, Dec. 14, at the Crystal Heights Care Center in Oskaloosa. He was 85.
 
Mr. Coulter was born Sept. 13, 1930, in What Cheer, Iowa, the son of Warren and Marie Grudgings Coulter. He was a 1948 graduate of What Cheer High School. While a senior in high school he enlisted in the Iowa National Guard so he could continue to help his parents on their farm.
 
On Sept. 29, 1951, he was united in marriage to Lenora McCulley at the Little Brown Church in Nashua. Soon after the couple started a family and began buying farmland.
 
In 1959 Mr. Coulter purchased two broodmares from his father and began his lifelong passion as an owner, breeder, trainer and driver of Standardbreds. Over time both Mr. Coulter and his father earned a spot in the Iowa Harness Horse Hall of Fame.
 
In 1983 Mr. Coulter was instrumental in lobbying Iowa legislators to bring pari-mutuel racing to Iowa. It was important to him that people knew harness racing was an honest, family oriented business that most any family could enjoy together.

Over the years he served as a director of the United States Trotting Association District 4, Iowa Harness Horsemen's Association, Hawkeye Colt Association, Southern Iowa Fair and the Keokuk County Fair.

He was past president of the Midwest Racing Circuit and North Mahaska School District School Board. He also served as Adams Township Trustee and was a member of the Lacey United Methodist Church.

Of all the positions he held over the years, being a devoted husband to his wife meant the most to him. By simply loving and respecting his best friend of 64 years his children developed respect, admiration and love for their father. He loved his children and grandchildren, who to this day refer to him as "Bunker,” enough that he never hesitated to give praise or a little tough love if need be.

Mr. Coulter will be remembered by many as an honest, humble, hardworking man whose presence made the world a better place.

He is survived by his wife, Lenora; daughters, Diana (Randy) Fuqua and Janna (Jim) Hawkins; son, Rodney (Victoria); sisters, Jeannine Duncan and Dottie Behrens; brother, Dan; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; infant sister, Barbara; sister-in-law, Annette; and brothers-in-law, Glenn McKain and Elmer Behrens.

Funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 18, at the Holland-Coble Funeral Home in What Cheer. Burial will be in the Sixteen Cemetery near Thornburg. Visitation will begin at 12 noon on Thursday, Dec. 17, with family present from 5-7 p.m.
 
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Central Iowa.
 
Friends may sign the online guestbook at http://www.hollandcoblefuneralhomes.com/.
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