James D. Hruska, 85


James “Jim” Dean Hruska, 85, of Lake Catatoga, died after a long battle with advanced dementia on March 26, 2024 in Loveland, CO.
A military burial will be held at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, MO on Friday, April 19, at 1:30 p.m. A celebration of life service will be held at Pleasant Hill Christian Church in Raymond, on Saturday, April 20, at 11 a.m. A luncheon will follow at the church.
Mr. Hruska was born on June 2, 1938 to Gene and Mildred Hruska. He was a Colorado State graduate that held the all-time scoring record in basketball for over 20 years. He married Rosemary Hruska in 1961. He graduated with a teaching degree, and then served in the U.S. Navy for seven years as a pilot on the aircraft carriers USS Enterprise and USS Saratoga. He then flew for Pan American Airlines. In 1970, he moved his family to Australia and played semi-pro basketball while teaching, coaching and traveling. After four years, he returned to the Midwest and raised his family with a foundation of faith, family, camping, backpacking adventures and hard work at its core.
Mr. Hruska was the maintenance director at both Pine Lake Christian Center in Eldora, IA for 23 years and Lake Williamson Christian Center in Carlinville for seven years. He was an active member of Pleasant Hill Christian Church in Raymond. Mr. and Mrs. Hruska took a year’s mission trip and volunteered at 32 Christian camps in 8 different countries. He used his handyman skills to fix doors, windows, walls, roofs, plus give staff devotions. This experience showed Mr. Hruska that the love of Jesus is powerfully being shared in many different ways. Psalm 48:10 reads “Your Name is known throughout the earth, O God. You are praised everywhere for the salvation You have scattered throughout the world.”
His love for nature was evident in his interests, which included canoeing, camping and bird watching, but his greatest passion was being a Naval Aviator. Along with woodworking, a favorite hobby was knife sharpening. The Navy made the man who would become a husband, father, grandfather, entrepreneur, handyman and follower of Jesus. Mr. Hruska’s sense of humor made him a fun grandpa and a good friend to many around the lake community where he and his wife lived for almost three decades.
He was known for his quintessential example of hard work and dedication, both to his profession and as a husband to Rosemary for 63 years and father to Wendy, Joni and Lindy; grandfather to eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His work ethic was unparalleled, often working long hours to ensure the provision for his family, whom he loved deeply.
In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to Franklin Graham’s Operation Christmas Child, a gesture that embodies Mr. Hruska’s spirit of giving back, or to Pleasant Hill Christian Church.