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James McLaren, 75, of rural Cumberland
Funeral Services: Will be held on Saturday, August 14, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. at the Massena Baptist Church with a luncheon immediately following the service. Pastor Josh Heisterkamp will officiate the service. The Steen Funeral Home of Massena is in charge of professional arrangements.
Open Visitation: Will be held on Friday, August 13, 2021, at the Steen Funeral Home in Massena from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Family Visitation: The family will greet friends on Friday evening from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Steen Funeral Home in Massena.
Memorials: Memorials may be made to the Turkey Hill Ranch Bible Camp.
James Cameron McLaren was born August 17th, 1945 in Atlantic Iowa to Jimmie and Lola McLaren. James attended a one-room school in Edna Township until the 8th grade, before transitioning to Cumberland & Massena Community Schools for his 9th-12th grade education. After graduating, he worked for Ray Denham, the Cumberland Vet. James loved working for Ray, and it was through this work relationship where James acquired much of his work ethic, life training and job skills needed for the rest of his life. James took on other responsibilities and participated in his community, serving on the C & M Community School Board and as an Edna Township Trustee.
James loved the outdoors. He would often play softball, and was a regular on the local Edna Indian team with many friends and family. James acquired some expertise in archery and hunting and would hunt with his brothers from time to time. He had a lifelong favorite hobby for horseback riding. A favorite memory is of James riding into the family picnic as the “Edna Indian”. More recently, James took up an interest in carving logs into bears by chainsaw, of which the final products were quite a sentience of humor for his grandchildren (as well as for family and friends alike).
After a 7-year tour in the Iowa National Guard, James started farming with his cousin Dan McLaren in 1970. On 20 August 1970, James married Marla Myers, and they proceeded to have 5 children. James has 6 grandchildren, whom he loved, and became another source of joy to him. James operated a semi-truck for many years and made many lasting friendships but would eventually retire from trucking. James loved to farm, and continued to farm until the end. James and Steve Erickson had a partnership in a cow/calf herd. His years working with the Cumberland Vet was invaluable to this partnership especially during calving season.
When James was 17, he accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior during a tent meeting in Lyman, Iowa. After that event, he and his family would faithfully attend the Lyman Bible Chapel. Many years later, James and Marla would fellowship at Massena Baptist Church until his death. James loved children, and the children at the Massena Baptist Church would admit they were blessed to have him as a “bonus” grandpa. Because of his faith, James would want everyone to know that he was a sinner saved by God’s grace; and that you could accept that same gift of God, with no strings attached. He wanted to live a life that followed Jesus Christ and honored the God of the Bible because James wanted to know the one and only true God and he looked forward to that heavenly Kingdom to come. James rarely disliked anyone he met, cared about many people, and would “go that extra mile” to show the love of God. He truly was a humble man of God who loved his wife and family, lived honestly, worked hard, sacrificed much, and simply loved us all.
James was preceded in death by his Daughter - Dana Jo, Son - James Cameron, and his parents - Jimmie and Lola. He is survived by his wife, Marla, of 50 years, and Daughters - Tara (Yusef) Bridges (Grandchildren: David, Derick, Marcus & Morgan), Kenya (Shane) Haffner (Grandchildren: Kale and Tate) and Brooke Palmer. James was blessed to have a “spare” Daughter - Rana (Jeff) Thomsen (children: Lane and Jace). He is survived by his Sisters - Roma and Roxy, and his Brothers - Jan (Cheri), and Brian (Deliala) and numerous nieces and nephews.