James Edward Sievers, 101, of Briggsdale, passed away on December 11, 2019 at his home in Briggsdale, Colorado. he was born in Briggsdale, Colorado on June 25, 1918. His father, William P. Sievers, first settled on a homestead west of Briggsdalein 1912. In 1917 William traded this property, sight unseen, for land located 7 miles east of Briggsdale. This prairie home is where Jim, his parents, brothers and sister would grow up and where he would live, farm, and raise a family for over 101 years.
One of Jim’s favorite pastimes was to tell stories of those early days when people farmed the land withhorses, walked on foot to school, and rode horse drawn wagons to town. How exciting it was when the first car was purchased, and the first tractor was delivered. Hunting was primary part of his family’s life. He and his brothers spent many days hunting because the hides could be sold for money to help support the family. Growing up with and experiencing life on the prairie with fellow homesteaders and neighbors created lifelong friendships through sharing everyday life, attending the same schools, swimming in the local ponds, hunting, gardening, and attending Keota dances.
Jim graduated from Briggsdale High School in 1938. He attended Emily Griffith Opportunity College and earned a certificate in airplane mechanics. Times were hard as a result of the Great Depression and when he and his brother Carl heard jobs were available in Alaska they decided to go. They worked their way upnorth with many adventures on the way, including Jim contracting pneumonia on the freighter they were on and another with a boat capsizing on a sandbar where they were stranded for several days. Jim said, “Every day was a perfect day because it was another day wehad survived!” They eventually got work on a gold dredge on the Kuskokwim River near Bethel and experienced adventures and stories that lasted a lifetime.
World War II was declared, in 1941 and Jim and his three brothers were called to serve. Jim trained for the tank infantry and was later honorably discharged. He often talked of the men he trained with and his thoughts of their wellbeing during the war.
Jim later returned to the farm in Colorado where he partnered with his father in the farming operation and where he worked the rest of his life. Jim married Agnes Mary Hopka on February 11, 1945 at Zion Lutheran Church east of Grover, CO. They first met at a dance at Keota, Colorado and went on to raise a crop of six children.
Jim had many interests in life. His adventures hunting and fishing, experiences with friends and family, and struggles to make a living on the farm could fill a book. Jim had deep respect and interest in Native American history and culture and had an extensive collection of arrowheads. As a child he was one of first exhibitors at the Stone Age Fair and won a silver dollar for his display of arrowheads. This year he attended and was honored at the Fair’s 85thanniversary. He enjoyed nature and all wildlife, but especially loved observing birds. This interest began with an Audubon ornithology book he had as a child. He told the story of him and his brother climbing trees to collect birds’ eggs from nests, “But we only took one”. He always looked forward to traveling, especially to the mountains where stories were told about Colorado history and people who lived there. He loved working in his garden even when his eyesight and health were in decline. He was a loyal Colorado Rockies fan. Trevor Story wrote him a wonderful letter for his 101st birthday thanking him for being a” loyal fan of the men in purple and black”. He was active in Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, a lifelong member of the Democratic Party, and a member of the Zion Lutheran Church at Grover, Colorado
He was loved by all for his good nature and sense of humor and his genuine interest, care, and respect for everyone he met.
Jim is preceded in death by his parents, William and Anna Margaret (Lamp)Sievers, his wife, Agnes (Hopka) Sievers, his brothers Bill Sievers, Ray Sievers and Carl Sievers, and sister, Margaret (Sievers) Lippold.
He is survived by his children, Jackie Smock, Jeannie (Jack) Hockersmith, Gary (Lynda) Sievers, Sandra (Don) Koenig, Anna Kim Sievers, William Jeffrey Sievers, eleven grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews and their children who have all remained close to him throughout the years. The family would like to express our deep appreciation to Canyon Lands Hospice.
Memorial contributions may be made to the BriggsdaleFire Dept., Zion Lutheran Church, Grover, CO and the Briggsdale Historical Society. To leave condolences for James’ family, www.adamsoncares.com
Life celebration visitation will be held between 3-6 pm, Wednesday, December 18, 2019 at Adamson Life Celebration Home, 2000 47th Avenue in Greeley. Life celebration service will be held at 1:30 pm, Thursday, December 19, 2019 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 3000 35th Avenue in Greeley.