James Allen Aisenbrey, age 60 of Sioux Falls, S.D., passed away Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at Dougherty Hospice House, Sioux Falls.
James, better known as Jim, was born on March 25, 1958 to LaVern and Alice Aisenbrey, the third of four children. Jim grew up on the family farm with his sister Nancy and brothers Lindsey and Steven. Later in life the mere mention of the farm would bring up entire afternoon’s worth of entertaining stories from a man who was known for his story-telling ability and his smile.
Following high school, Jim attended college at Dakota State University where he received his bachelor’s degree in education. On May 24, 1980, Jim married the love of his life, June Mettler. In 1983, they welcomed a son, Cameron, and in 1986, a second son, Marc.
Jim devoted his life to the three Fs – faith, family, and football. Jim was a teacher for one year in Canova, S.D. and 25 years in Freeman, S.D. After receiving a master’s degree from Northern State University, Jim became the high school and middle school principal at Baltic High School in Baltic, S.D., for 13 years until his death.
Despite never playing football, Jim’s passion for the game was a microcosm of his life, consistently outworking others while attributing all success to the power of the team. Jim spent 30 years as a football coach in the state of South Dakota and retired from the sport in 2010 as one of the winningest football coaches in South Dakota history. Jim was the head coach of the Freeman Flyers for 25 years, winning five state championships, and spent five years as the head coach of the Baltic Bulldogs. In 2011, Jim was inducted into the South Dakota High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He was set to be inducted into the South Dakota High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in Fall 2018.
Jim was a devoted father and husband, a loving and encouraging presence in the lives of his family. He found so much joy in his family, particularly spending time with his grandchildren. Jim loved working with young people and always wanted to see everyone around him reach their potential. His passion for teaching and coaching extended beyond the classroom and the football field. Jim coached baseball, track and field, and volleyball. He also served on the South Dakota High School Activities Association board and the SESD Principals Association board. Jim also served as an elder and Sunday school superintendent and was a consistent faith-filled presence in church and to those who knew him.
Cherishing his memory are his wife of 37 years, June; his sons Cameron (Chelsey) Aisenbrey of Huxley, Iowa, and Marc Aisenbrey of Platte, S.D,; his grandchildren Emerson and Luca Aisenbrey; mother Alice Aisenbrey; sister Nancy (Larry) Christopherson; brother Steven Aisenbrey; sister-in-law Barb (Lindsey) Aisenbrey and numerous nephews and nieces. He is preceded in death by his brother Lindsey Aisenbrey; father LaVern Aisenbrey; and mother-in-law Velma Mettler.
A funeral service was held Saturday, April 21 at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls. Burial was in the Menno Cemetery.
Family requests memorials be directed to the Pancreatic Action Network. Minnehaha Funeral Home, Baltic, handled the arrangements.