The fire department and his family were Jimmie’s love and passion. He would do anything for either one.
Jimmie graduated from Mitchell High School in 1972 and received an associate’s degree from Ivy Tech State College. He worked at Lehigh Cement Company for 34 years as a millwright. Honorably discharged from the US Navy in 1976‚ he fought during the Vietnam War aboard the USS Coral Sea.
A member of Marion Township Rural Fire Department for 30+ years‚ Jimmie was named Firefighter of the Year in 1987‚ 1992 and 2006. He received a ‘Midwest Award’ in 2000 from the IVFA for dedication to Fire Service District 17B. Jimmie was also an EMT. Quite the fundraiser for the department‚ he went to area businesses and always talked them out of gifts and donations for silent auctions. Once he told the firefighters that he would let them shave his head if they reached their monetary goal. They did‚ and the whole department showed up the night they shaved his head. His picture was on the front page of the newspaper the next day.
Jimmie never met a stranger and would talk to anyone about anything. He was known for the volume of his music on his truck as he went through town‚ singing right along with the radio.
One winter night after a fire‚ the guys were sitting around the station. He told them he was going to have to get some new socks because the ones he had on had holes in them. Come to find out‚ when the tones went off he had put on my legwarmers by mistake!!
Another night at a house fire‚ the homeowner lost all of his possessions and had no shoes. Jimmie took the shoes off his own feet and gave them to the shoeless man. He came home barefoot that night.
Jimmie is survived by his wife of 34 years‚ Myra Zeeks. His son‚ Jason Zeeks‚ is a career captain with the Bloomington Fire Department and assistant chief with the Marion Township Volunteer Fire Department. Jimmie’s daughter‚ Ashley Teague‚ was named Miss Flame for District 17B in 1998 and competed in the Indiana State Miss Flame competition.
As our kids were growing up‚ Jimmie never missed a game and coached on and off. Now that we have grandkids‚ again Jimmie never missed a game and always brought his grandkids a ‘special treat’ for after the game. His grandchildren–Eliza‚ Lilly‚ Connor‚ Bryson and Miley-were the light of his life. He loved to give them tractor rides on his Kubota through the fields of our home.