James Harry Astor, 91, of Cedar Rapids passed away peacefully Saturday, September 9, 2017 at Lantern Park Specialty Care, Care Initiatives in Coralville, surrounded by his loving family. Funeral Service: 10:30 am Thursday, September 14, 2017 at Sharon United Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids. A visitation will be held from 4-7 pm Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at Cedar Memorial Funeral Home. Burial with military honors: 1:30 pm Thursday, September 14, 2017 at Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery.
James was born February 5, 1926, the son of Raymond and Anna (Theesfeld) Astor. Mick and Regina Averill, neighboring farmers, raised him from the age of three until he went into the service. He enjoyed growing up in the Arlington, Iowa area. James served in the United States Army in the 2nd Armored Division Hell on Wheels during World War II in Leyte Philippines. One of his last missions was preparing for Operation Downfall, which was ultimately cancelled due to the Japanese surrender. His awards included the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. On December 7, 1946, he was married to Laura Bates in Arlington, Iowa. They moved to Hiawatha and later Cedar Rapids, where they raised five children. They were married for fifty-seven years, until her passing in 2003.
In his spare time, he especially loved camping and fishing the trout streams of Northern Iowa. James and his wife were active members of Sharon United Methodist Church for over fifty years.
James worked for Iowa Manufacturing for over forty years. During his time there, he took great pride in the many hours spent also working on the Brucemore Mansion for Howard Hall.
Survivors include his four children, Dennis (Bev) Astor, Carol (Steve) Murphy, Donna Birkicht, Janis (Larry) McMann; daughter-in-law, Jane Astor; fifteen grandchildren, Todd Astor, Shelby Astor, Robert Rudd, Justin Murphy, Jennifer Carr, Cory Birkicht, Andrea Prohaska, Hether Stauffacher,
Larry McMann Jr, Lonnie McMann, Chris Peterman, Dennis McMann, Brian McMann, Jacqueline Lavely, Jacob Astor; thirty-four great grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; sister, Maxine (Bill) Bright, brother, Gary (Joanne) Astor; sister-in-law, Sonya Astor; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife; son, Jeffery Astor; parents; foster parents and eight siblings.
Memorials may be directed to Sharon United Methodist Church, Care Initiative Hospice or the VFW in memory of James.