Margaret James

Obituary of Margaret James



Margaret “Maggie” Edna James, age 81, passed away peacefully on December 13th, 2020 at the Rehabilitation Center of Lisbon from complications of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.


A private service with the immediate family will be held on Saturday, December 19, 2020 at Kramer Funeral Home in Monticello, IA.  Burial will be at Oakwood Cemetery in Monticello. 


Margaret was born June 15, 1939 in Springville, IA, the daughter of Bernell and Clara (Andreesen) Schwirtz.   Margaret graduated from Martelle High School in 1957.  She married her high school sweetheart, Lyle E. James, on August 9th, 1959 in Anamosa.  They were married for 48 years when Lyle passed away in 2007. She received her BA and MA degrees from Mt. Mercy and Marycrest College.  Margaret taught special education in Anamosa and Davenport for seventeen years.  She was an instructional consultant for the Keystone Area Education Agency for over sixteen years, serving programs in many school districts in Northeast Iowa. She retired in 1999 after completing over thirty-three years in the field of education.  For the last part of her educational career, she provided consultation and services to many. Her expertise and positive attitude always provided encouragement to the teachers and students whose lives she touched.  Maggie always had a great sense of humor and truly enjoyed working with school personnel, parents and students.  


Margaret enjoyed many happy years after she and Lyle retired- traveling to Colorado was their favorite vacation.  They were always up for a Hawkeye tailgater and enjoyed following the Hawks to bowl games.  She loved to shop, talk on the phone, eat out, or have everyone over for a meal at home.  Holidays were very special to Margaret, and everyone will remember the creative gifts and fun games she came up with for the crew every Christmas.  She never stopped being an educator. Weekend trips to Galena with the whole family provided some great times and wonderful memories over the years.  Her biggest joy in life was her three sons and their families.  As the boys were growing up, she was a constant source of strength and stability for the family.  She was a great mom. Her six grandchildren were always a source of pride, and over the years, she enjoyed being a “teacher” for their projects, reading to them, and attending their activities. She loved being with her family.   

Margaret is survived by her sons and their families:  Brian (Jody) of Anamosa and their children, Cameron, Dylan and Mariah; Chris (Lisa) of Iowa City and their children, Alec and Shannon; and Nick (Rebecca) of Lodi, WI and son, Bryce; her sister, Ann Aitchison of Monticello, sister-in-law Marilynn Etzel of Des Moines, and many nieces, nephews and cousins. 


She was preceded in death by her husband Lyle, her parents, in-laws Elmer and Doris James, and brothers-in-law, Bill Aitchison and Dave Etzel. 


The family is grateful to the staff of the Rehabilitation Center of Lisbon for their kindness and expert care provided to Margaret since October 2019, and to Compassus Hospice for their care during the past few months.  


In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the family.


Online condolences may be left for the family at


Cards and memorials may be mailed to the James family in care of Kramer Funeral Home at PO Box 791, Monticello, IA 52310-0791.

A Memorial Tree was planted for Margaret
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Monticello
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