James Zinn Obituary

James D. Zinn
James D. Zinn

August 9, 1947 - August 17, 2020
Born in Spencer, Iowa
Resided in Albuquerque, New Mexico
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On Monday, August 17, 2020, James (Jim) D. Zinn passed away after fighting cancer for a year and a half. He was 73 years old.

Jim was born on August 9, 1947, in Spencer, IA to Margaret (Gould) and Lester Zinn. He grew up on a farm, going to country school. He graduated from Spencer High School in 1965 where he was active in the Riverton Rowdies 4H club, played baseball and ran track. He attended Estherville Community college for two years before enlisting in the Air Force in 1968. Jim was first stationed in the Philippines after attending boot camp in Amarillo, TX. When he returned to Iowa, he married Sandra (Sandi) Krumm. Their honeymoon was relocating to Scott AFB, near St. Louis. This is where Jim and Sandi’s first child, Kimberly Ann (Kim) was born in 1971. From there they moved to Incirlik, Turkey, where they had their second child, Lisa Marie, in 1974. They returned to the United States to live on Minot AFB in North Dakota. Starting a different avenue in his military career, he worked for the Defense Attaché Office in the American Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, and The Hague in Holland. Jim was last stationed at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, NM, where he lived until his passing.

For Jim’s entire Air Force career, he was an administrator. Stateside, he managed administrative personnel; overseas, he coordinated travel arrangements for dignitaries. There were some perks that went with the duties overseas. He toured submarines and aircraft carriers that came into port. He greeted Presidents Ford, Nixon, and Carter (current president at the time) and Henry Kissinger at Air Force One for the funeral of assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. He shook hands with George H. W. Bush, Vice President at the time. As a family, they were able to ride horses by the Giza pyramids, to take cruises on the Nile, to enjoy a family trip to Cyprus, and to take a ferry from Egypt to Italy, travelling through Italy, Switzerland, and Germany to their home in Holland.

In Albuquerque, Jim went back to school at The College of Santa Fe to finish his four-year Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration. He enjoyed learning so much that he continued his education with a master's degree in Organizational Management at the University of Phoenix. Jim retired from the Air Force as a SMSgt. in 1994. Jim then started a new career as a Management Analyst in the Veteran’s Administration. He officially retired 14 years later.

Jim enjoyed many activities in retirement. He was an active member in the Rio Grande Corvette Club for many years, showing and driving both his 1961 and 1976 Corvettes. He also worked as security at the minor league baseball park of the Isotopes and really enjoyed helping people at the tax center on the base.

Jim and Sandi were active walkers and bowlers. They loved to travel the United States and overseas, with memorable trips to the Panama Canal, to Alaska, and on a European Blue Danube river cruise . In recent years, they really enjoyed the camping life in “Miss Daisy”, their RV. Memorable trips were any that involved their kids and grandkids meeting up with them at a campground somewhere in the Midwest as well as a fantasy trip to Baja, Mexico. The most cherished trips were the annual week in September to New Smyrna Beach, FL with Kim and Lisa.

Jim loved everything about sports. He supported the UNM Lobos with season tickets for both basketball and football. He enjoyed the news and politics. Jim would talk to anybody and loved telling stories. He was a proud Air Force veteran and loved his country. He always knew what to do or what advice to give. He was always positive. Jim will fondly be remembered for his smile, his warmth, his sense of humor, and most of all, his booming laugh. Jim was a big man - both in stature and in how he approached life. He loved his wife and family greatly. He enjoyed life to the fullest. He was a great role model to all. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Jim was preceded in death by his father, Lester, his mother, Margaret, his father-in-law, Orville, and his mother-in-law, Ida.

Jim will be remembered as a loving and devoted husband to his wife of 50 years, Sandi; a proud and loving father to his daughters, Kim (Jeff Carpenter) and Lisa (Andy Christensen); a beyond proud grandpa to his grandkids, Connor, Caitlyn, Sophia, and Sam; a brother to Roger (Marti) and Tom (Tammy); and a Brother-in-law to Fred (Susan) Krumm, Judy (Jack ) Christensen, Susie (Mike) DePew, and Bill Krumm. Jim is further survived by nieces, nephews, other relatives and wonderful friends.

In lieu of flowers, we request donations be made to the American Cancer Society.





Dunn's Funeral Home
2121 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50312
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
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Dunn's Funeral Home
2121 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50312
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
12:00 PM
Iowa Veterans Cemetery
34024 Veterans Memorial Drive
Adel, IA US 50003
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
2:00 PM
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American Cancer Society
1599 Clifton Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Founded in 1913, the American Cancer Society(ACS) consists of more than two million volunteers and staff collaborating with nearly 18 million cancer survivors, their families and supporting donors united nationwide to conquer cancer. To accomplish its mission, the ACS collaborates with other voluntary health agencies, community-based organizations, business leaders, legislators, and educators at the national and grassroots levels to identify and address nationwide and local cancer issues through education, patient service, research and advocacy programs.