CLINTON, Iowa – James Roydan Bartlett, 73, of Clinton, Iowa, passed away peacefully Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, at home, surrounded by his loving family.
James was born March 17, 1944, in Anna, the son of James Thomas and Geraldine (Brothers) Bartlett. At a young age, James was placed in a Lutheran children’s home. However, he was very fortunate that Ray and Myrtle Fulfs would believe in him enough that they became his newly adopted parents. The Fulfs took James into their new family, showing him the love he never experienced. Additionally, Ray took James under his wing, teaching him an abundance of skills, including plumbing, electrical, carpentry, and most importantly, believing in yourself enough that you can achieve anything in life. James would work at the Fulfs hardware store for many years. It was during this time that he would meet the love of his life, Lou Dell Burgess. They were united in marriage on March 23, 1963, in Dixon, together 54 years.
Several years after their marriage, James began his career as an over-the-road truck driver, retiring after more than 30 years. However, his love of driving didn’t stop after retirement. He would continue driving for Holsinger Grain and Livestock, along with his son, Tom, for many more years. During his driving career and raising and caring for his family, he also was an entrepreneur, ultimately owning and operating, along with his wife and daughter, “Vitales Pizza Restaurant” for the past 25 years.
James was a man who could do basically anything from building houses to performing electrical or plumbing work; he was a perfectionist who did every job one way – the right way. He was an avid Chicago Bears fan, going to games with his foster dad, Ray, and family. During his truck driving days, he loved old school country music, and carried on that love the rest of his life. He dearly loved his fur-baby Miss Daisy, his Maltese. Above all, he loved his family very much, and will be greatly missed by all those who knew him.
It was noted that James came from an almost forgotten time when excuses meant less than nothing, and a man’s word meant everything. At the end of the day, only results counted. He was from an era of tough men who knew real hardship and stood for something worthwhile; men and values you could always count on.
James is survived his wife, Lou Dell Bartlett of Clinton; two daughters, Becky Krontz of Camanche, Iowa, and Sarah Wells of Long Beach, Mississippi; one son, James “Tom” (Sena) Bartlett of Fulton; two grandchildren, Christopher Krontz and Eric Wells; four great-grandchildren, Jayden, Jianna, Jordan and Ramsey; two sisters; two brothers; and several nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Preceding James in death were his parents, his foster parents, and two brothers.
Honoring his wishes, cremation rites will be accorded with no services planned and no memorials or flowers requested. Lemke Funeral Homes handled arrangements.
Visit lemkefuneralhomes.com to send condolences.