Deacon James F. Schortgen, 76, of Hamler, died peacefully with his family at his side on August 4, 2018 at Defiance Area Inpatient Hospice Center.
He was born on February 3, 1942, to the late Florian and Emma (Dunzer) Schortgen in Bartlow Township, Henry County, Ohio. On July 20, 1960, he married Marilyn J. (McGill) Schortgen, at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Hamler, who survives. Jim was a 1960 graduate of Hamler High School. He was a farmer in his early years, and later retired from the Ohio Department of Transportation as an assistant superintendent of Fulton County. Jim was a lifelong member of St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Hamler, where he served as an ordained permanent deacon for Sacred Heart, New Bavaria, St. Mary’s, Holgate, and St. Paul’s, Hamler. He was honored to assist Fr. Steve Stanbery and Fr. Nick Cunningham as deacon, and also performed many weddings and baptisms. Jim also served as an annulment specialist in the diocese, high school CCD teacher, trained altar servers, and past parish council member. He was a member of St. Paul’s Disciples of Christ and the Knights of Columbus, where he served two terms as Grand Knight. Jim also served two terms on the Patrick Henry Board of Education and was a lifetime PH Athletic Booster. Jim enjoyed woodworking with his wife, Marilyn. They crafted many pieces of furniture for their family, friends, and church. Together, they designed and made the altars, podium, chairs, votive candle holder, and baptismal font at St. Paul’s. There was never a project that was too big or too small for him to tackle.
He is also survived by his children, Cynthia (James) Cody of Malinta, Timothy (Rita) Schortgen of Defiance, Kristen (Bradley) Burkey of Deshler, and Anthony (Katie) of Blissfield, Michigan. He leaves behind five grandchildren, Adrian Shafer, Christopher Cody, Kendyl and Emma Burkey, and Jackie Schortgen, and three great-grandchildren, Dominic Cody, and Lexi and Ashton Shafer. Jim was very proud that his children had chosen to serve others through law enforcement, nursing, and education. He also leaves behind his sisters, Janet (John) Schroeder and Kathleen Barlage, both of Ottawa, and two brothers, Donald (Shirley) Schortgen of Saddlebrooke, Missouri, and Jerome (Sandy) Schortgen of Hamler and brother-in-law Mick (Jane) McGill, Napoleon. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by brothers Charles and Kenneth Schortgen.
The vesper service and the reception of the body will be at the church on Tuesday at 2:00 pm at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Hamler with visitation until the Rosary service that evening at 8:00 pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, August 8, 2018 at 11:00 am at St. Paul’s with Fr. Nick Cunningham officiating. Burial will follow at St. Paul’s Catholic Cemetery with a luncheon following. Memorials are suggested to Defiance Area Inpatient Hospice Center, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, or to St. Paul’s Chapel.