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Henry J. 'Jim' Mahler

Henry J. 'Jim' Mahler

Dec. 23, 1938 - May 9, 2009

WILLMAR -- Henry James "Jim" Mahler, 70, of Willmar, died Saturday at his home.

The service will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Vinje Lutheran Church in Willmar. Burial will be at 1 p.m. May 18 at Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Oak Brook, Ill.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. today at Harvey Anderson Funeral Home in Willmar and one hour prior to the service Tuesday at the church. Memorials are preferred to Paz y Esperanza, Vinje Lutheran Church, ELCA Vocation and Education, 8765 W. Higgins Rd, Chicago, Ill., 60631 or the Mayo Clinic of Rochester.

He was born Dec. 23, 1938, in Plainfield, N.J., to Henry Fred and Meta (and Vetter) Mahler. When he was 6 years old, his family moved to Hinsdale, Ill. He graduated from Hinsdale High School in 1956. He graduated from the Concordia Teachers College, River Forest, Ill., in 1961, and moved to Westwood, N.J.

On Aug. 17, 1963, he married LaNell Kappler in Houston, Texas. They lived until 1969 in Westwood, where he started Zion Lutheran School and served as its principal. He received his master's degree in counseling and guidance from Columbia University Teachers College and later a doctorate in education. For the next 10 years, they lived in Maywood, Ill., and he was a professor at Concordia Teachers College. From 1979, until retiring in 2004 and moving to Willmar, he was a professor at California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, Calif.

While living in Thousand Oaks, he was a member of Ascension Lutheran Church and since moving to Willmar was a member of Paz y Esperanza. He was a member of the American Educational Research Association and the American Psychological Association.

He is survived by his wife; his children: the Rev. Naomi (and Todd Lynum) Mahler of Willmar, Rachel (and Brett) Kraemer of San Antonio, Texas, Matthew Mahler (and fiancé Loren Dealy) of Arlington, Va.; four grandchildren; and siblings: Barbara Mahler of Chicago; David (and Julie) Mahler of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Peter (and Annette) Mahler of Madison, Wis.