Former Edinburg resident James (Jim) Otto Holzem, 97, passed away peacefully in his sleep on November 27, 2021 at his residence in Palm City, Florida.
Jim was born in Chicago, Illinois, on June 23, 1924 to Otto and Marian Holzem. He served as a combat paratrooper in the 11th Airborne in World War II. He saw action in the Philippines and was one of 123 paratroopers who jumped on Los Banos Prison Camp and rescued over 2000 internees. After the war, he studied architecture at Rice University and received both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture. After graduation, he and his wife Ivy moved to Edinburg, where he eventually started Holzem Construction Company and built over 1600 homes and commercial buildings.
He served as president of Ebony Hills Country Club, president of the Homebuilders of the Rio Grande Valley, and was a member of the Edinburg Planning and Zoning Board. He was also a member of the Community Development Council, the Model Cities Board, president of the Board of Realtors, and was a consultant for the Edinburg Housing Authority.
In 2009, he moved to Dallas where he was active in World War II Roundtable and other Veteran's groups. He shared his World War II experiences with many Dallas organizations.
Jim loved gardening and at one time had over 30 varieties of banana trees. He also loved golfing, reading, and playing cards and other games with family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Ivy Holzem. He is survived by his children: Debbie Summers (Gary), Diane “Louie” Peeler (Tom), Jay, and Marianne. He is also survived by ten grandchildren: Grady Summers (Cori), Krista Singleton (Matt), Katie Crews (Nathan), Rebecca Gorman, Elisabeth Gorman, Natalie Holzem, Laine Holzem, James Holzem Jr., Erin Coleman (Kevin), and Landon Grammer. He is also survived by fifteen great grandchildren.
Jim's funeral and burial will be at Spring Creek Cemetery in Meridian, Texas at 11:00 am on December 11.