May 20, 2011

James S. Draper

James (Jim) Sterling Draper, loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend, died on Thursday, May 19, 2011 after a courageous battle with brain cancer.  Jim was born on October 25, 1958 in San Francisco and adopted a short time later by Fred and Mollie Draper of Denison Iowa.  He moved to Lincoln in 1986 where he began his career in warehouse management, working for Millard Refrigerated Services and most recently for Farmland/Cooks Foods. 

Jim was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping and an occasional game of golf.  Lake Mac was his favorite spot for fishing, especially chasing walleye.  He loved camping in the Otter Creek area while sharing his fishing stories and good food. Turkey, goose and deer hunting were also outdoor hobbies Jim enjoyed.  However, deer hunting was the one thing he looked forward to every year.  He shared all the outdoor fun with his family and friends, but especially with his wife, Bettie. 

Jim is survived by his wife, Bettie of Lincoln; daughters, Nikole Thompson of Lawrence, KS; Shannon and Michael Beltz of Lincoln; sons, Tyson and Ann Draper of Denton, NE; Jeremy Allen of Lincoln, NE; grandchildren, Kylee, Katy, Zane, Kiara, Taylor, Alexandra, Kaiden; special parents, Don and Betty Eggers of Denison, IA; brothers, Jay Eggers of Denison, IA; Jeffrey Eggers of Milford, IA; sister, Jan Eggers of Denison, IA; best friends, Steve and Dyanne Yentes of Sheridan, WY; Larry and Julie Thompson of Denison, IA; brothers & sisters in law, Al and Carol Channel of  Alliance, NE; Bill and Fern Channel, Hastings, NE; Mary Jane and Ivan Burgan, Lincoln, NE; Pat Channel, Portland, OR; many nieces & nephews. 

James was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Mollie Draper, grandchildren, Madalyn Marie Draper and Dominick James Draper.

Cremation/no visitation.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 1:30 P.M. at Wyuka Funeral Home with Pastor Jim Cummings officiating.

Honorary Pallbearers: Tyson Draper, Jeremy Allen, Michael Beltz, Zane Beltz, Jason Varejcka, Kaiden Varejcka, Steven Yentes, Larry Thompson, Jay Eggers, Jeff Eggers, Ron Graham and Mike Powers.

Burial will be at a later date in Wyuka Cemetery.

Memorials in lieu of flowers may be directed to the American Cancer Society or the Capital Humane Society.


  1. I am am glad were are friends Bettie.
    I am sorry for your loss.

  2. Jim was a great friend, hunting & fishing companion, and most of all an exceptional human being. His good nature and good feelings towards others were infectious—everyone around him benefited from his generous spirit.

    Our trips afield, whether fishing or hunting, most often began well before daylight with Jim pounding on my door with a hot cup of coffee as inducement to crawl out of a warm bunk. His biscuits and gravy (with a couple eggs on the side) were legendary. Starting the day without one of Jim’s breakfasts wasn’t even an option.

    His enthusiasm for our outdoor pursuits often meant that days began early and ended late—but never with bad feelings—only optimism for the next day.

    We were both great nappers. A mid-day siesta in the blind or on the boat or in the pickup recharged our batteries when the birds, animals, or fish weren’t active. On one occasion Bettie woke us by firing at a nice whitetail buck with her .270 resting across the hood of my pickup (where Jim & I napped).

    Since moving from Nebraska to Wyoming a few years ago, I haven’t hunted or fished quite as much. Age is probably part of the reason. But it’s even more likely that the motivation that Jim and I supplied one another when one of us was having a slow day has been missing.

    The days and weeks and years will be less full without Jim, but my memory bank is loaded with the many, many good days and weeks and years that we enjoyed each other’s company.

  3. Dearest Aunt Bettie,
    A note to let you know how truly sorry we are in the loss of Jim.
    I always enjoyed being around the two of you as I could feel the unique bond between you guys.
    My memory of Jim will always be his love for nature and his pride in his family!!!!!!! Lake Mac will never be the same; it might even be better. We will feel his spirit all around us and laugh at our memories. Loved being in your camper! Great food cooking that you could smell a mile away! And oh what an appetite Jim had! God bless all of you!
    Barb and Neal Thompson~

  4. Bettie and Family…

    So sorry for your loss. Losing a family member is tramatic, but we hope you find comfort in your memories.

  5. Ron and I send our heartfelt condolences to you and all of the family! We will all miss that “wonderful soul” but our hope is anchored in the promise that we will see him again one day! “And what a glorious day that will be!!!!” I love you Bettie and so thankful we are friends. I know I am a long way away now…but my prayers are being sent continuously to “Lincoln Nebraska! Take care!

  6. Bettie,
    Our hearts are with you in your loss. Jim’s love & memory will live on through the wonderful family & friends who shared his joy of life. We are grateful to have been blessed to share his spirit.
    Billy & Sherry

  7. Betty,
    I was saddened to hear of Jim’s passing from family in Denison, Iowa. I wish you comfort in these difficult days ahead.

    Jim and I were high school classmates and teammates on the basketball squad. There was no more loyal friend than Jim and no better teammate who would always give 110% while competing.

    I was glad to read he took up other hobbies like hunting because we both had bad feet back in the day.

    My last memories of Jim were at the 30 year class reunion and swapping stories and laughs. Jim’s personality always made you feel at ease. For the class of ’77 and the Mendlik family, he will be sadly missed.

    Mike and Roxanne Mendlik
    Dallas, Texas

  8. Bettie,
    I am sorry for your loss..I am getting in touch with Jim’s H.S. basketball teammates. We all had a very special bond and an over-achieving team in 1977. Jim was a crucial part of our success.
    I will keep you, your family, and Jim’s friends in my thoughts and prayers.
    Chris Drennen

  9. Bettie & Family,
    I am so sorry for your loss. God gained an Angel…..sure hope he reserved a fishing hole for Jim.
    Jim taught me a lot during the time I worked for him. We became friends and we always shared a laugh or two. He really taught me a lot about walleye fishing. I will have very fond memories of him. Especially Tyson and I tracking his big buck he shot at Bundy’s farm. I still look at the pictures.
    Take care and God Bless you.


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