James “Jim” Riley Hall

James “Jim” Riley Hall

October 11, 1946 – April 5, 2023

James “Jim” Riley Hall, aged 76, passed away at home on April 5, 2023.

Jim was born in Igloo, SD on October 11, 1946, to Jesse and Irene Hall. He graduated from Idaho Falls High School in 1964. Jim joined the US Air Force and proudly served for twenty-two years, achieving the rank of Master Sergeant. Jim graduated from the University of Nebraska—Omaha with a bachelor’s degree in special education.

He met his future wife, Margaret Arnold, in Rapid City, SD. Then surrounded by family and friends they were married in Nenzel, NE on October 26, 1968. They were blessed with many children and opened their home to countless foster children and extended family. While in the Air Force he loved being stationed with Peggy (his wife) in Alaska, South Dakota, Guam, and Nebraska.

He loved taking family vacations in the woods with his sister Rosa Lee, her husband Erwin and their children. He never forgot to call his dear sister on her birthday to remind her that she was the older one. He also loved talking to his brother Randy and was proud of him even though he was a squid.

At large family gatherings he was the unofficial keeper of the peace and disciplinarian for all his nieces and nephews. Jim and Peggy were instrumental in organizing the first family reunion in 1980 at Fort Robinson State Park. At each reunion they helped feed hundreds of family members.

He was a voracious reader. (Please contact any of his children if you would like a free book, or ten!) Jim loved to scour garage sales for unique finds, enjoyed bird watching, using his metal detector, and had a passion for all things history, especially Old Westerns and coins. Jim was acclaimed for his volunteering and fundraising at his children’s Catholic schools including numerous pancake breakfasts and shrimp dinners.

Jim was infamous for playing pranks and embarrassing his children, grandchildren, and their friends. He was even more well known for his legendary prowess on a charcoal (never, ever gas) grill. Jim’s one regret was never making it onto Wheel of Fortune.

Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Peggy; and son, Joshua.

Jim is survived by his siblings: Rosa Lee (Erwin) and Randy (Gail); children: Paul, Michaella, Eimile (Nick), Nathaniel (Collin), Willie, and Jordan; grandchildren: Jessica, Rachel, Lauren, Ethan, Calvin, Noah, Maggie and Sawyer and numerous nieces and nephews.

Jim was honored to be Matthew Daly’s Godfather.

Please join us in celebrating Jim’s life. A visitation will be held at West Center Chapel, Tuesday, April 11, 2023,  5-7 PM, with Vigil Service, 7:00PM. Funeral Service: Wednesday April 12, 2023, at 11:00 AM. Lunch will be served and then family and friends will proceed to the St. Columbanus Cemetery (22720 Weston Ave, Underwood, IA 51576).

As an expression of sympathy honoring Jim, memorial donations may be made to the J.P. Lord School.


  • Sue and Phil Mininni Posted April 8, 2023 4:25 pm

    To Shayla and family – Phil and I are very sorry for your loss. Your Dad was a kind and funny guy. Your family and part of mine will surely miss him being Father Christmas. Cherish your memories. Love you. ❤️.

  • Karen cook Posted April 8, 2023 5:54 pm

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. One my favorite memories is when he would tease is mother. If she gave him any guff. He would pick her up and set her on top of the fridge. He was very fun to be around. I’m so glad I knew him.

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