James (Jim) Edward Horrell, 76, of Fort Wayne died June 3, 2021 at Lutheran Hospital, Fort Wayne, IN. James was born November 2, 1944 in Fort Wayne. Jim is survived by his wife of 52 years Marilyn Klingenberger Horrell; children Benjamin (Cheryl) Horrell, Miranda (Joel) Rockey, Nicholas (Beth) Horrell; 7 grandchildren, Megan (17), Kyle (14), Olivia (12), Nolan (10), Elliott (5), Isaac (3), and Noah (newborn). James was preceded in death by his father, Esta Horrell; mother, Mary Jane (Herman) Kappel.
Jim attended North Side High School, graduating in 1962. He spent his summers as a camp counselor at Franke Park Day Camp, where he met his future wife. He served in the Army for three years as a Nuclear Weapons Electronics Specialist. He later graduated from Ball State University seeking a career in education. Jim was an elementary school teacher for 30 years in the Fort Wayne Community Schools district. He retired from teaching at South Wayne Elementary in 2000.
Jim had many interests including trivia, space shuttle launches, and the Panama Canal. He loved to travel cross-country with his family when his children were young, often stopping at amusement parks to ride any roller coaster he had not yet checked off his list. In his later years, he enjoyed planning trips abroad with his wife. He was an avid gardener who was always sharing his plants with friends and neighbors. Jim was very generous and loved to bless others, especially those being cared for by Ave Maria House. He also found it hard to resist driving past a casino without putting a few quarters in the slot machines for each of his grandchildren.
Above everything else, Jim was his grandchildren’s “Papaw.” He loved to hold and talk to each of them when they were babies. It gave him such joy to spoil each of his grandchildren with gifts of lottery tickets, quarters, two dollar bills, and anything else he thought might bring a smile to their faces. Papaw always took an interest in any activity or event in which they were involved. There was never any doubt in how proud he was and how deeply he loved each of his grandchildren.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 am, Monday, June 7, 2021 at Saint Mary's Catholic Church, where he attended Mass, 1101 S. Lafayette St with calling one hour prior. Visitation will be held Sunday, June 6, 2021, 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm at Divine Mercy Funeral Home, 3500 Lake Ave., Fort Wayne. Burial will be in Catholic Cemetery, Fort Wayne. Masks are required. Memorial contributions may be made to Ave Maria House (www.stmarysfw.org/ave-maria-house) or Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation (www.pkdcure.org).