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James R. Eastburn

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James R. Eastburn
Bettendorf, Iowa
Died on Friday, November 6th, 2009

5-7pm , 11/9/2009 Monday, November 9th, 2009
10am , 11/11/2009 Tuesday, November 10th, 2009
Our world is in pain. James R. Eastburn, 58, (our hero) of Bettendorf, Iowa, died Friday, November 6, 2009 at Genesis Medical Center, Davenport, East Campus after battling a monster for four and one half years.

In May, 2005, Jimmy was diagnosed with a rare cancer called pseudomyxoma peritonei which began in his appendix. After taking a deep breath on that horrible day, Jimmy resolved to continue living his life with joy and wonder. Cancer was merely an inconvience. Jimmy was not going to let it stop him from enjoying his family, whom he cherished, or good times with friends. When people asked him how he was feeling he would always reply "Fine, just fine. How are you and your family?" It was always more about making everyone else feel comfortable around him.

Each day he would wake up and say, "What do you want to do today, Deb?", and off they would go. He lived, he loved, and to the laughter of all those that witnessed it, he danced.

James Richard Eastburn was born October 31, 1951 in Burlington, Iowa to Harvey and Eleanor Eastburn. He married Deborah Kuster on August 13, 1971 in Stevensville, Michigan. A journey of love, devotion, and fun began that day and lasted for thirty eight years. Jim worked in corporate sales for Nalco Chemical. He was a member of Asbury United Methodist Church.

Jimmy's favorite times were those spent with his family. He also loved fishing, traveling, the Iowa Hawkeyes, and a good martini.

Jimmy is survived by his wife, Deborah, a daughter and son-in-law, Anna M. and Jason Taravella, of Normal, Illinois; a son, James R. Eastburn, Jr. of Normal, Illinois; a son and daughter-in-law, Joseph A. and Brooke Eastburn of Davenport, Iowa; grandchildren Zachary and Sophia Taravella; his mother Eleanor Eastburn of Burlington, Iowa; sisters Judith Eastburn of Des Moines, Iowa, Patricia Simpson of Omaha, Nebraska and Caroline Eastburn of Asheville, North Carolina; sisters and brother-in-laws who loved him as their brother; special friends, Jerry and Ellen Jorgensen and Don and Harolyn Bormann both of Davenport, Iowa. He was preceded in death by his father.

Debbie would like to express her sincere thanks to VNA nurses, Joy and Sharon, to the staff of First Med Pharmacy, and especially to Dr. Ed Motto and his office. Whatever Jimmy and Debbie wanted to do or wherever they wanted to go, Ed would say, "Cool, we can make that work." And he did.

Celebration of Life Memorial Services will be held at 10:00 A.M. on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at Asbury United Methodist Church, Bettendorf, Iowa. There will be a gathering of friends and family from 5-7 P.M. at Weerts Funeral Home on Monday, November 9th. Education was very important to Jimmy, so in lieu of flowers a college fund is being established for his grandchildren.

Goodbye, Jimmy. We love you so.


Steve Steward (friend, co-worker at StarKist Foods (mid 70's)) - 8/5/2011
I was very sorry to come upon the obituary while searching for information about Jim. My wife Midge and I hadn't seen Jim and Deb in many years but considered them old friends from our days in Muscatine, Iowa in the mid-70's. Midge and I express our deepest sympathy to Deb and the family.
Sandra Finnegan (sister-in-law) - 11/16/2009
My Sister,
It has taken me several days to be able to write about Jimmy.
As you know he was my hero, friend but most of all your beloved husband.
Walking into your home and seeing his smiling face there to greet me was wonderful because I knew the fum behind that smile. I will forever miss Jimmy.
Take care, baby sisser and hold those memories close to your heart.
Christine Finnegan (neice) - 11/14/2009
I spent the most time with Uncle Jim when I was impressionable girl (ages 11-14), he exuded warmth and kindness(in retrospect), I realize now I liked being around him, because he was a happy man and this came (in my memory) from knowing who he was: loving husband, devoted father and a genuinely good person. He will forever be in my thoughts and I could not be more sorry for my Aunt Debbie and cousins Anna, James and Joseph.

Deepest Sincerity,

Christine Finnegan
Dave Casady (Friend) - 11/13/2009
Deb and Family,

I was deeply saddened to hear about Jim and your family’s loss. My sincere condolences and prayers go out to you all.

I will always remember Jim and his big smile and all the jokes he played on everyone when we met at the YMCA on Saturday mornings when we were in elementary school years and then later when we started our high school years.

Jim will be greatly missed by all that knew him!

“God Bless”

Dave Casady
Karen Eickmann (My brother through Debbie) - 11/13/2009
Jimmy,Debbie,Anna,James,and Joseph,Brook,Jason,Zachary, and Sophia.
I lost the man next to my husband that I loved dearly. I promised him Larry and I would always be there for Debbie. He was there for Larry and I. While watching him through these last 4 1/2 years he has given me strength to overcome any struggles that may arise in my life time. Jimmy I will think of you daily and miss you forever (even your dancing). K
Ken Tomkins (School Classmate and friend) - 11/12/2009
Debbie and family,
It was Ironic that I happen to be home in August of this year from Dallas visiting my parents and while out dining in Burlington,ran into Jim at a restaurant.I was taken back by his small oxygen bottle and asked him what was going on. He
stated that he was dealing with cancer but as you know, he played that down. We spoke only
briefly and only now do I wish we would have had more time to have visited. I did not realize the severity of his health and I feel very fortunate to have seen him when I did. He was always a tremdous person and one couldn't help but to enjoy his company. As I play the video
of our 21st high school reunion,
I will now, with special interest, enjoy seeing and hearing him during the interview
he and Debbie gave.
Rejoice in the years we got to have him and that we all are better off for having known him and having him in our lives.
My sincerest condolences and best wishes to you all.
Ken Tomkins
Michael Finnegan (Nephew) - 11/11/2009
We all have best friends, impressionable teachers, memorable coaches...but some of the most treasured memories are created by favorite uncles. The last couple of days I've been reflecting on those times with Uncle Jimmy.

How could he not be one of my faves. He loved to fish, was passionate about college football, and he was genuinely a nice man.

The most cherished memories with him are on the water.

He was one of two men who really taught me how to fish - the other being Zach Kuster, his father-in-law, my grandpa. I was a clueless 5/6/7 yr old eager to learn but undeniably in the way of beer-drinking and serious fishing. As I look back on those times, I understand now just how nice he was, taking me out with him all those times.

For sure next time I'm out on the water, I'll say a quiet toast in reverence to one of my favorites.

Thanks Uncle Jim, rest in peace.

Carol Talbot (Friend) - 11/11/2009
Caroline, So sorry this sad time has come to you and your family. Loss is so hard; be comforted by the great attitude and accomplishments in this all too short life. Love, Carol
Allison Schebler (Friend) - 11/10/2009
Dear Eastburn Family,

I am so sorry for your loss. Mr. Eastburn was a kind and wonderful father. He will be missed by everyone.


Allison Schebler
Jim and Linda McClurg (Friends) - 11/10/2009
Dear Deb and Family,
We were so sorry to hear of Jim's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. We regret not being there for the visitation and service but send our deepest sympathy and love to you all.

Jim and Linda McClurg
Jeff Rucker (Friend) - 11/9/2009
Debbie, Jimmy was a great guy and we were all fortunate to have known him and spent time with him. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family. God bless you all.
Jeff and Becky Wierenga (co-worker with Joe) - 11/9/2009
Our symapthies to you and Brooke and your family on the loss of your father.
Jeff & Becky
Aaron Hrovat (Co-worker of James Jr.) - 11/9/2009
My Prayers and thoughts for the Eastburn Family. I never had the chance to meet Mr.Eastburn, but through conversations with his son James Jr. I learned very quickly how great of a husband, father, and freind he was to the people in his life.

God Bless
Shalawn (Co-worker of James Eastburn Jr.) - 11/9/2009
I would like to send my deepest sympathy to the Eastburn family. I work with James Jr and I have heard so many wonderful things about your family. I will pray for your strength during this time. May God Bless your family and keep your spirits up during this very difficult time.
Lindsay Garrett (friend (James Jr)) - 11/9/2009
May God bless you and surround you in his grace during this difficult time, and the time ahead. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers, now and in the days ahead. Beautiful exerpt, I can see he greatly touched the lives of all who knew him and lived life to the fullest. May the celebration of his life bring you comfort during this time of sadness. God be with you.
Monica R. Diaz (Friend of son James) - 11/9/2009
Dear Eastburn family,

I am so sorry for you loss. From everything James said about him and also from what I read in the obituary, he sounds like a very honorable, wonderful man. God bless you.
Scott Camp (Eastburn Family Fan) - 11/9/2009
Thoughts and Prayers are with you all on the loss of a special member of a special family.
Brad and Cindy Heath (friends) - 11/9/2009

Brad and I are so torn up over the news about Jimmy. You and Jimmy have been such a clear picture of FAITH and LOVE throughout this difficult journey. I can only believe that God will bless you and your family during this very sad time. Our wish for God to surround you and your loved ones and comfort you, is my prayer to God. Know that there are people out here that really have been touched by your friendship, love and strength. Please reach out if you ever need anything...we are here.

Love you,
Cindy, Brad and Girls xoxox
Jean Allender (friend) - 11/9/2009
Dearest Debbie...
How I feel your pain, but also joy for all your years of happiness. Jimmy was a wonderful man, and you are one heck of a woman, who will find strength with a little help from your friends!
Kim Yarbrough (FRIEND) - 11/8/2009
Debbie, I am so sad that you have lost your Jimmy. He will be very, very missed.
Please let me know how the checks for the memorial should be addressed. I know this is just absolutely heartbreaking for you and your family. I am so very sorry. Love, Kim
Ellen (friend) - 11/8/2009
Jimbo knew how to keep living life in spite of cancer and lived it well up until his last days.This was made possible by a smart, loving watchful wife. They were an amazing team. I will miss so very many things but especially his dry wit and his gentle teasing ( especially of Jerry) and of his love and generosity and good humor. What an example to all. We will keep all our good times over the years in our hearts forever until we meet again...and pick up where we left off.
Barbara Pickard (Friend) - 11/8/2009
I do hope this doesn't seem an intrusion in your time of loss, but I want to tell you that I read the beautiful obituary of your husband and father. Even though we didn't know James, both my husband and I felt the summary of his life told of so many great life lessons that should be an inspiration for us all. He is one of those people we would like to have known. Our sympathy. Barbara and Jerry Pickard-Ft. Madison
Beth Kuster (Niece) - 11/8/2009
Uncle Jim, I will miss you so much. I have so many wonderful memories of staying at your house in Muscatine as a little girl. What a great host! How lucky I've been to have you as an uncle, and to be able to witness the amazing and inspiring love partnership you and Aunt Debbie shared. Aunt Debbie, you are in my prayers and heavily on my mind--and will be daily for the foreseeable future. Please stay strong and know that you are greatly loved by so many, and that so many are pulling for you at this terrible time. Anna, James & Joseph--I love you all. I wish I could be there in person to hug you and comfort you. I have put all of you on my church's prayer list; many people here in Brooklyn are thinking of you and praying for you today. Love, Bethie Boo
Bobby Bunch (friend) - 11/8/2009
My deepest condolences to your family for the loss of a great man. Your family is in my prayers.
Chris and Ann Morrison (I admired Jim, worked with him (and hired him)) - 11/8/2009
Deb and family,
We got to know Jim through work, but through his illness, we found another amazing person with incredible strength and guile – Debbie Eastburn. Someone who took care of our friend and the family. A person who never complained and always was thankful for the extra time you had with him. Should I or any of my loved ones have an unfortunate battle with a malady, the standard in which I will conduct myself will be the way you dealt with Jim and communicated with all of us. This may be of little consolation due to the huge loss, but frankly, as we have all seen, god works in ‘strange ways.’ Thank you for being Debbie Eastburn and being Jim’s best friend. He could not of picked better. His legacy and your incredible courage will live long past next week. From the deepest cavern in our heart, God bless you. Ann and Chris Morrison
Marcia Thorpe (pharmacy delivery driver) - 11/8/2009
Debbie and family,
It was my pleasure to be of service by delivering medications to Jim in his time of need. He always had a smile on his face and a kind word. I believe he was genuinely interested in other people and did not dwell on his own problems. He made me feel comfortable. He will truly be missed by his family and friends. Since I am in Florida and can't be there to say goodbye, I will lift my eyes and my glass to the heavens on Tuesday and know that Jim is in a better place and is looking out for his family and friends. May God be with you and your family, Deb, and I'll say a prayer for all of you.
Kevin H. Finnegan (friend) - 11/7/2009
The joy of living never stops.
Molly Finnegan (connected through extended family) - 11/7/2009
Debbie: What a beautiful tribute to Jimmy. I wish I'd known him personally but I have felt and can feel his specialness. I send you my love and prayers. Molly Finnegan
Cory (RN Surgical Specialty) - 11/7/2009
Mrs. Eastburn and Family,
My deepest condolences to you all for the loss of your beloved. He was a very kind man and a pleasure to work for. I wish you all the best in you time of grief and send my thoughts and prayers.


If you would like to mail a card or contribution to the family, simply address your envelope to:

3625 Jersey Ridge Road
Davenport, IA 52807
ATTN: The Family Of James R. Eastburn

We will forward your envelope directly to the family upon receipt.
If further assistance is required, please click here or call 563.355.4433.
Weerts Funeral Home - 3625 Jersey Ridge Road, Davenport, Iowa 52807 tel. 563.355.4433