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Obituary

James (“Jim”) H. Stange

May 25, 1930 - February 17, 2024

James (“Jim”) H. Stange, age 93 of Lincoln, peacefully passed away on February 17, 2024. Jim was born to Henry and Norma (Ballhorn) Stange in Davenport, Iowa on May 25, 1930.

After being set up on a blind date the first time they met, after a short courtship, he married M. Suanne Peterson in 1954. They celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary last December 12th.

Jim grew up in Davenport, Iowa and was the 1948 Class President of Davenport Central High School, where he also excelled in his favorite sports of golf and basketball. His 6’7” frame lent him to many successes in basketball, including being part of the Iowa State Championship team in 1948 and State Runner-Up team in 1949. In 2001 he was inducted into the Iowa State High School Basketball Hall of Fame. His college career at Iowa State included being a three-year lettermen for the Cyclones, captain of the team his senior year, and named to the All-Big Seven first team. A member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity, he served as president his final year in school while graduating with a Bachelors of Architecture degree in 1954.

Jim and Suanne moved to Lincoln, when Jim accepted an offer to join the architectural firm of Davis and Wilson. Jim’s passion in design and growing as a professional in his craft led him to many accomplishments. After working his way up to officer status, the firm changed its name to Davis, Fenton, Stange and Darling in 1969 and Jim was elected president in 1977 and then chairman from 1979 to the time of his retirement in 1994. The buildings and facilities Jim was associated with are spread across Lincoln and Nebraska. They included, Lincoln East, Lincoln Southeast and Lincoln High high schools, Seacrest Field, Lincoln Air Terminal, National Bank of Commerce, Dorsey-Sandoz Laboratories, multiple University of Nebraska and Nebraska Wesleyan buildings, First Presbyterian Church, First Plymouth Church, Lincoln General Hospital (Bryan West) and multiple additions and master plans of the Bryan Memorial Hospital (Bryan East) campus.

Serving on boards of numerous professional, civic, and charitable organizations was also an area Jim enjoyed, including being a member of the American Institute of Architects and participating on multiple local and national committees. His other board experiences included serving as president of the Downtown Lincoln Association, Capital Association for Retarded Citizens, Hillcrest Country Club, Executive Club and chaired the United Way Campaign, the United Way Board, University Club Board and the Bryan Health Foundation Board. He also served in numerous leadership roles, including deacon, trustee and elder at First Presbyterian Church, where he was a member since 1957.

Despite all of the foregoing commitments, Jim and Suanne were faithful and joyful followers of their children’s and grandchildren’s activities and always made time to attend. His family will be forever grateful for the positive, determined and generous role model he provided.

Jim is preceded in death by his father and mother, his two sisters, Mary and Sandra, brother-in-law, Norman Hepper, son, Jonathan and two grandchildren, Joshua and Aaron. He is survived by his wife, Suanne, three children, Wade (Heidi) Stange, Drew (Holly) Stange and Grant Stange, his five grandchildren, Jordan (Jessica) Stange, Jocelyn Stange, Connor Stange, Dayton Stange and Collin (Emily) Stange and four great grandchildren.

Private interment at Lincoln Memorial Cemetery. A Celebration of Life Service is being planned for 2:00 pm April 19, 2024, First Presbyterian Church, 840. S. 17th St.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his honor may be directed to the First Presbyterian Church Foundation of Lincoln or The Arc of Lincoln.

Services

April19

Celebration of Life

CST

First Presbyterian Church

840. S. 17th St., Lincoln, Nebraska

Share a Memory or Condolence

April 19, 2024

I was a young mechanical engineer who started my career at Davis Fenton Stange and Darling and as most engineers was focused on the many details of my young career. Jim waving his “big basketball” hands at me and telling me “Matt you need to think about the big picture here”. Think about the big picture we did in helping create Bryan Health East, the George W. Beadle Center (laboratory), and Bryan Health West (LGH). There were numerous other large Lincoln projects as well. Thanks for the inspiration “Big Guy” and rest in peace.

– Matt Morrissey PE
March 24, 2024

Wade and Family, sad to learn of your father’s passing. He was one of the architect ‘pillars’ of the Lincoln community and of the profession for that generation. As mentioned by others, he was a true ‘gentleman’.

– Stephen Clymer
February 23, 2024

I was an employee of Hillcrest Country Club from 1968 through 1976. “Mr. Stange” was a member who had the total respect of employees. When he found out that I was a graduate of UNL, he said, “It’s okay to call me Jim if you’re comfortable with that.” I was. My wife and I saw Jim and Su a few times at The Landing, and I often asked their son Drew about this wonderful couple. Lincoln is a great city, and due to people like Jim who were so involved in its growth. “His buildings” will be a living legacy to his professionalism. May God be with Jim’s family as we celebrate his life that was well-lived.

– Bruce McKeag
February 22, 2024

My sincere condolences to all of Jim’s family. I am thankful to Jim for having the confidence in me to offer a job to me at DFSD. It was at his firm where I interned and successfully passed the exams to become an architect. I learned much from him about architecture and business which was essential in my early career. He will be missed by our architectural community. My prayers are with you all.

– Jerry Berggren, AIA
February 22, 2024

Our condolences to the Stange family. It was my pleasure interacting with Jim on many occasions while at Bryan Health. Take care.

– Dean Young
February 22, 2024

Drew and family, so sorry to learn about your dad passing. My deepest condolences to you and your family. God blessed.

– Eric Tang
February 21, 2024

Wade and family, so sorry to read about your loss. He was a very accomplished man in his career and family life. Always hard to lose a parent at any age. May God bless you all during this difficult time.

– Kelly Sneed
February 21, 2024

I met Jim through Ernie Weyeneth when they were looking for a CPA to assist them in the future years and to help plan their retirement needs. I worked with Jim & Suanne until my retirement on 1/1/21 and always treasured my visits with the two of them They are some of the most honorable and distinguished people I have ever had to work with and Jim will be dearly missed.

– KYLE L SITZMAN CPA
February 21, 2024

I worked with Jim on several community endeavors on which he gave his time and energy. Also always enjoyed our time together on the golf course at Hillcrest. He was a fine gentleman and will be missed. Rest in peace, Jim.

– Alan Hersch
February 20, 2024

Perhaps my earliest memories of Uncle Jim were his height, his crewcut, and his hip black glasses. He was an athlete and carried himself with grace and confidence. He and Auntie Su were a striking pair. My next and enduring memories were of his laugh, and his love of Iowa State basketball. ( Yes, yes, he loved the Yankees but I’m a Twins fan and could not discuss the perennial victors over my psyched out team.). I started watching the Cyclones in my early 30s, when I began watching Golden Gopher basketball. The Cyclones were fast and fun to watch, especially with my dad. I would look for them during March Madness, and loved the joy in Uncle Jim’s voice when I’d ask him about the team on those too infrequent phone calls and visits with him and Auntie Su. Over the years, our families would get together and, invariably, laugh and visit as if no time had passed. He would mention this particularly as we all got a bit older which I found very touching. I love Uncle Jim because he married my incomparable aunt and helped raise three incredible sons who do the right thing with similar grace and humor. All of them.

– Margaret Hepper

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