Christian 10

James J Riemen

February 4, 1944 ~ December 4, 2020 (age 76)


James Joseph Riemen, a husband of more than 50 years, father of three and a grandfather, died Dec. 4, 2020, at Parkview Randallia due to complications from COVID-19. He was 76. Jim was born in Fort Wayne, on Feb. 4, 1944, to Clara and Edward Riemen. He graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1961 and later attended International Business College in Fort Wayne. Not long after, he began a 30-year career with International Harvester, later known as Navistar, where he was charged with maintaining the inventory that kept the local facility’s assembly lines rolling. During that time, Jim also spent six years in the U.S. Army Reserve.Jim’s life revolved around his family and Catholic faith. He also found joy in  reading, traveling and professional baseball.  A childhood trip with his father and brother, Bob, inspired an unyielding loyalty to the St. Louis Cardinals and established baseball card-collecting as a fervent hobby, one he’d pass on to two of his children. His travels spanned many Western and Southern states. He would enjoy many of them with his wife of 51 years, Margaret Ellen (Meg) Coulter, whose brother Dave was Jim’s good childhood friend. Jim and Meg began dating after a chance interaction in May 1969 as Meg was getting off a bus three blocks from home after work. There, she found Jim and his green Dodge Charger with an offer of a ride home. The ride ended with a lengthy chat in the car. They got engaged six weeks later and wed that November. The newlyweds ventured out West for their honeymoon, traveling in Jim’s orange Volkswagen Karmann Ghia through the Dakotas, Colorado, Idaho and Yellowstone National Park. The stick-shift sports car, which only Jim knew how to drive, snaked along mountain roads that offered breathtaking vistas and, for Meg, maybe a few jitters. Jim and Meg settled initially in Fort Wayne, where they lived for two years and welcomed their first child. It was during this time that the Riemens’ cat-family tradition began. Jim arrived home one day from work with a feline from a co-worker. When Meg asked why, Jim replied, “Because he needs a home.” That cat, Osgood, would be followed over several decades by Rusty, Zipper, Tommy and Erni, among others. Jim often explored his love of animals -- along with baseball and history -- in another setting: nestled in a comfortable chair and engrossed in a good book.The Riemens soon moved to nearby New Haven, where they had two more children and where the couple would stay for nearly 30 years. For roughly a decade during that time, Jim and his brother, Bob, formed a real estate partnership, buying and renting several homes across Fort Wayne. In 2000, Jim and Meg retired to Little Cedar Lake near Columbia City, where they enjoyed swimming, riding on pontoon and paddle boats, volunteering at a nearby park and caring for their neighborhood’s colony of community cats.With their early retirement, Jim and Meg began taking charter bus trips organized by a local parks and recreation organization to destinations in Texas, New Orleans, Florida, Phoenix, Cape Cod, South Carolina and the Great Smoky Mountains. The decade of adventures, some six weeks long, yielded many rich friendships. In 2010, the couple moved back to Fort Wayne, a decision that brought them closer to their grandchildren. In addition to his wife, Jim is survived by three children, Kaylene Riemen (Christopher) Rickett of Indianapolis, Monica Berry of Churubusco and Clint (Mary) Riemen of  Rockledge, Florida; and two grandchildren, Noah and Austin. He is preceded in death by his parents; his brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Rosemary Riemen; and son-in-law, Kevin Berry. Services and burial are private. Memorial contributions can be made to Allen County SPCA and Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control. To sign the online guest book, go to


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