Gratzer, James "Jim" Meinrad

Date: Friday, May 12, 2017
Time: 3:00 to 8:00 PM with Masonic service at 7:30 PM

Visitation Location:
Russell Colonial Funeral Home in St. Clair, MO

Date: Saturday, May 13, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM

Service Location:
Russell Colonial Funeral Home in St. Clair, MO

Midlawn Memorial Gardens, Union, MO

Memorials / Donations:
May be made to the MO Veteran's Home Activities Dept. or to the United Methodist Church of St. Clair, MO


James Meinrad Gratzer, known to all as Jim, of St. Clair, MO, departed this life in St. James, MO, on May 9, 2017, having reached the age of ninety-two years, seven months and twenty-four days. Jim was born in St. Louis, MO, on September 15, 1924, son of Meinrad Gratzer and Flossie Gratzer nee McCance. On December 23, 1950, he was united in marriage to Norma Jean Hansel, known to all as Jean, and one daughter came to bless this union.

Jim is survived by his wife, Jean Gratzer, of St. Clair, MO; by his daughter, Connie Gratzer, of Palm Harbor, FL; by his sibling-in-lawa, Stanley Hansel and Jilletta LeClaire, both of St. Clair; by nieces, nephews, great and great-great-nieces and nephews, cousins and many friends.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Meinrad and Flossie Gratzer; and by his brother, Bernard R. Gratzer, Sr.

Jim was a Christian and had attended the United Methodist Church of St. Clair, MO. He was proud to have served his country in the United States Army, entering on September 29, 1944 and receiving his honorable discharge on November 19, 1946. Jim was wounded in action and received a Purple Heart. After his discharge from the military he worked in the auto industry, first at Ford Motor Company and later at Chrysler Corporation, for eleven years. After leaving Chrysler he started his own business, Jim's Floor Covering in St. Clair, working for twenty-three years before retiring. Jim was an active member of the St. Clair community for many years. He was a fifty year member of Easter Lodge 575 AF & AM of St. Clair, having entered May 26, 1953, passed September 22, 1953 and was raised on October 23, 1953. He was also a member of the St. Clair Saddle Club and the St. Clair Lions Club. He was passionate about farming and raised Black Angus cattle and hay.. Riding and showing Fox Trotters was a favorite hobby, as was going to Lewis' Cafe. After his retirement, Jim and Jean enjoyed wintering in Florida or Mission, TX, where he later acquired a home. His wife and daughter were his pride and joy and many precious memories were created.

A devoted and loving husband, father, brother-in-law, uncle, great and great-great-uncle, cousin and friend, he will be sadly missed and lovingly remembered by all who knew and loved him.

Funeral services were held at 10:00 AM on Saturday, May 13, 2017, at Russell Colonial Funeral Home in St. Clair, MO, with the Rev. John Hampton, Jr. officiating. Interment with full military honors was in Midlawn Memorial Gardens near Union, MO. Memorials may be made to the Missouri Veterans Home Activities Department in St. James, MO or to the United Methodist Church of St. Clair, MO.