James Delbert Schlund, “Big Jim” was born August 23, 1943 at St. Valentine’s Hospital in Wendell Idaho. His parents Jacob (Jake) and Rosalie Schlund raised him and his older sister Sandra on a 88 acre farm in Wendell Idaho, then moved in 1945 to an 80 acre farm along Dry Creek in Murtaugh, Idaho.
They moved to that area to be closer to family and for the community support. Dad had fond memories of growing up in Murtaugh, spending time with his grandparents, and other relatives. He talked of a huge snow storm when he was about 6, and how the cows could walk right over the fences! Dad said that he loved to pretend farm, and play cowboy and army games with homemade weapons, and even a fort he made from wood and hay bales. He had a dog named Blackie that he also shared adventures. The farm was a playground for a young boy with so many things to do for fun and a little mischief. Like pounding a nail into the electrical wiring that melted all the wires on his father’s tractor. He couldn’t believe how something so small could cause so much damage. He remembers wanting to do the things that his father did. And he had great interest in what made things work. Dad did alright in school, but he said he was good at math. His favorite was making things and learning in shop classes. That’s where he made a lot of his toys to entertain himself.
Dad emphasized that his parents were genuine people that taught him the lessons he needed to learn that would help him throughout his life. They were good examples to him and taught him right from wrong, to work hard, to always continue learning, and to be kind and to help and serve others. Dad said they were always teaching him in every setting and in every way that they could.
As Jim got older he continued his hard work on and maintaining the farm, raising cattle, milking cows, and working in the shop. Dad learned how to weld, work on engines, learned more about mechanical things and he was continuously learning how things worked and went together. He even built a go-cart from spare parts that was like one of those ATVs that you pay a lot of money today. At fourteen, Jim bought his first car; a blue 2 door 1949 Ford which was the first of many amazing cars. He also had a 1957 Chevy 2 door hardtop, 327 V-8 engine, 2 - 4 barrel carbs, with all the good things to make it soooo fast. Quarter mile, 105 mph, 13.90 seconds. He knew everything about these cars and he would work on them and other’s cars all the time. Dad said he stayed away from girls mostly, and played several sports in his life and he was quite an athlete in both football and basketball. He loved his FFA classes and competitions, sports, working on cars and other equipment, and helping his father any way he could. He enjoyed hunting and fishing and being in the outdoors. Dad would fix one of his teacher’s cars for them, and they would help him with his school work. Good trade!
Dad said he never missed a day of High School and won many awards for FFA, math and sports. He stated his senior year was the greatest; living the dream. He traded his car off for a 1955 Chevy, black with spinner hub caps and noisy exhaust pipes. What a car, and the girls liked it too. Dad graduated in 1961 from Murtaugh High and worked hard all summer and then went on to attend Idaho State University to learn Diesel Technology. He grew up so much and it was the first time he’d lived away from home. He made many lifelong friends at college. Jim graduated from ISU, and went to work for Grishams in Murtaugh working on all kinds of equipment, made good money and learned more people skills.
Then Jim went to look for a job in Burley and started work at Chislom Brothers International Inc. It was great financially for the family; he learned so much about equipment, business and people. His mother told him about a sweet girl that worked at the dentist office. He found out it was a girl he’d met before and she was the most beautiful girl he’d ever met, his eternal sweetheart Carol Barlow. They courted for three months and were married in the Idaho Falls Temple on 2 April 1965. He said that he was the happiest he’d ever been in his life. He continued to work in Burley, made and enjoyed great friends and good times. He continued what would be a history of lifelong learning and instruction at Chislom Brothers by attending industry and management training, courses and certifications and became the shop foreman. They later moved to Jerome and Jim started work for Goold Machine in Jerome. Then in 1973, Gene Goold told him about a position teaching at the College of Southern Idaho in the Auto and Diesel Technology department in Twin Falls Idaho. Jim went to interview and they gave him the job right then.
Jim spent the next 35 years from 1973-2008 working for CSI, starting as an instructor and then working to become a Professor. Dad completed a plethora of training, degrees, and certification courses over those years including College of Southern Idaho, Idaho State University, Boise State University, International Harvester Company, Detroit GM American Motors, John Deere Company, Cummins SET training, Case H Tractors, Freightliner, and CAT Diesel Engines. Jim worked with the local schools and FFA programs in helping to educate, instruct, and inspire youth and adults as well. He worked with local companies and industry leaders over the years to place students and provide instruction and training. Dad made many lifelong friends over those years of working with and serving students and the community. The Diesel Technology program under Dad’s instruction was well known for quality instruction, and both the program and he received many awards including Teaching Excellence 1993.
Over the years Jim had a shop at home that he worked on cars, trucks, tractors and other equipment. He owned and operated CJ Custom Farming and Cattle Co. along with his wife Carol since 1980. He missed his days of farming in Murtaugh, and was found happiest sitting in one of his four big tractors plowing or discing a field. At one time we had cattle located on four different properties, along with teaching and running a mechanics shop at home. My Dad got things done. Since retirement in 2008 he continued to custom farm for a while, then served on the Jerome County Planning & Zoning and the Middle Snake Regional Water Resource Commission, as well as work for and with companies to sell new and used agriculture equipment.
Jim joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints along with his Mother and sister in 1954. His father joined later on. He served in the Church in many capacities, most often as a teacher and missionary. Dad was always busy helping others, and often did so without receiving anything for his labors other than the satisfaction of helping another of God’s children. He was kind and compassionate, and met people where they were, extended a hand of fellowship to everyone he met. If you went somewhere with Big Jim, you could guarantee that you’d end up talking to a million people because he never met a stranger. Even if they were a stranger, or someone maybe he forgot their name you would never know. I’d say, “Dad, who was that?” And he’d look at me with a smile and say, “Son, I don’t know his name, but he’s a really nice guy.” Jim and Carol were blessed with three children; Kim (Tom) Edelmayer, Brett (Heather) Schlund, and Jason (April) Schlund. They have also been blessed with nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Family meant everything to our Dad. He was always so proud of us all. He instilled in his children to love one another, to work hard and exceed the expectations of others, always be helpful and kind, be honest and stand up for what is right. Dad loved to hunt and fish, but as he got older it became harder to do so. But nothing brought him more joy than to see his family succeed in life and he experienced great joy in his posterity. Jim and Carol celebrated 54 years of marriage this month. Dad loved his “Momma” as he calls our Mom. Though our Dad had a rough exterior at times, he did so much for Mom, and she for him. They truly loved one another.
Dad got up on Friday, April 19 to go about working on his farm like any other day. Determined to do the work himself, there were weeds to spray with the tractor. As he did so he experienced some pain and wanted to sit in his recliner in his self titled “Man Cave.” Mother provided him with the necessary care that she’d done a million times before and he rested. Our husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend left this mortal place here on Earth. As he had testified of, and shared the hope that is in Christ Jesus, he now rests with and in His loving embrace. We know that those who left this mortality were anxiously awaiting his arrival and it was a sweet reunion.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Jim Schlund Memorial Fund through Idaho Central Credit Union, by asking for this memorial through the name of Jason Schlund to provide a trade scholarship in his name.
Come remember and celebrate his life at a viewing from 6-8pm Thursday, 25 April at Rosenau Funeral Home in Twin Falls. A viewing will also be held prior to the service from 9:30-10:45 a.m. and funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 26 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – Jerome Idaho Stake meetinghouse, 26 N. Tiger Drive in Jerome. Interment to follow that service at the Jerome Cemetery, Jerome Idaho.