October 01, 2023

Greenfield icon Stalder remembered

The Iowa Aviation Museum and many other parts of Greenfield are remembering Jim Stalder this week. The longtime community business owner and volunteer’s life was celebrated last Tuesday. He passed away recently at the age of 91. His obituary was printed in last week’s edition.

Stalder was a volunteer firefighter for 60 years in three different communities, including Greenfield, Massena and Nodaway. He was the Greenfield Fire Chief for one year, in 1974.

Firefighters Jack Parrott, Kevin Pickrell, Josh Oder met with the newspaper last week. They and many others say they remember Stalder being quiet, however when he spoke up, there was a purpose to it. They remember he would say, “Boys, I’m gonna tell you something.” Whoever was around knew they should be quick to listen. Many of the younger firefighters commented they looked up to men like Stalder. When he spoke around them, many times it was about life, not just firefighting.

For many years, Stalder and his wife, Bonnie, would prepare a Thanksgiving meal for the fire department. He would always watch the markets and advise the department of when to buy their steaks for the annual ribeye supper. Up until this year, when he taught some of the other firefighters to do it, he was the one who cut those steaks.

Aviation Museum staff and volunteers shared many of the same things about Stalder, saying he was always positive, was a good listener, loved hearing people’s stories, being with people and “never met a stranger.”

He had a vast knowledge of airplanes, which came in handy at the museum. He was positive and non-judgemental, they said.

“He left a big hole in all our hearts,” the aviation staff and volunteers said.

Stalder was known for working in the grocery industry, his obituary read. He and his wife, Bonnie, owned a grocery store in Greenfield, then owned Bon’s Bakehouse, where he was known to host a coffee group each morning.

Stalder, 91, is survived by his wife, Bonnie, children Cliff and Jenny, and many other relatives and friends.

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson has served as News Editor of the Adair County Free Press and Fontanelle Observer since Oct. 2017. He and his wife Kilee live in Greenfield. In Greenfield and the greater Adair County area, he values the opportunity to tell peoples' stories, enjoys playing guitar, following all levels of sports, and being a part of his local church.