Jimmy R. Schmerse, 75, Durand, Illinois, died at 8:53 a.m., Thursday, December 29, 2011 in Rockford Memorial Hospital after a sudden illness. \r\r\n\r\r\n Born March 5, 1936 in Dakota, Illinois, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Harold and Pauline (Peck) Schmerse. Lived 69 years in Durand, coming here from Dakota, Illinois. He married the former Betty Lovett in Pecatonica, Illinois (at Betty’s parents home) on July 4, 1958. He started farming in 1957 with his father Harold and retired in 1995. Veteran of the U.S. Navy where he served as a Boatswain Mate from 1953-1961. He served two years in the reserves, two years aboard the ship USS Ponchatoula and then four more years in the reserves. He attended Cedarville Baptist Church. He was a former president of the Livestock Feeders Association and a former director of Town and Country Insurance Company. Jimmy was a member of Northwood Hitchhikers Camping Club. He was Winnebago County Outstanding Young Farmer of the Year 1969 and later he was named the Winnebago County Conservation Farmer of the Year. He was a Purina Feed Dealer for 12 years. Jimmy volunteered many hours at Beckman’s Mill in Beloit, Wisconsin. He wintered in Texas for the past ten years and was known as the “Welder”. He loved to play cards and was in the same card club for 50 years. He was very proud of his metal yard art and especially his 50 foot metal wheel tree he made. He graduated from Durand High School, Class of 1955 and attended an AG Short Course at Champaign, Illinois. \r\r\n\r\r\n Survivors include his wife, Betty Schmerse, Durand, Illinois; sons Timothy (Pam) Schmerse, Durand, Illinois and Thomas (Juli) Schmerse, Rock City, Illinois; daughters Tamela Ganshirt, Palmetto, Florida and Tina (David) Miller, Rock City, Illinois; eight grandchildren; five great grandchildren and sisters Nancy Giese and Susan (Russell) Sarver, both of Durand, Illinois. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law Ron Giese. \r\r\n\r\r\n Funeral ceremonies will be held at 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, January 4, 2012 in Durand United Methodist Church, 102 East Main Street, Durand, Illinois with Reverend Richard Glenny officiating. Burial will be in Durand Township Cemetery, Durand, Illinois. Visitation will be held at the church from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 3. \r\r\n\r\r\n In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established to the Rockford Rescue Mission, Children’s Haven International or Beckman Mill.