James (“Jim“) Herman Erlinger II of Saint Charles Missouri passed away at his home on June 7, 2021 at the age of 86, loving husband of 66 years to Nancy Willbrand Erlinger, cherished son of the late James and Bertha Erlinger, devoted father of Jim (Susan) Erlinger, John Erlinger and Jill (Tim) Erlinger Cudd; loving grandfather of Natalie Hall, Mindy Herter, Daniel (Kelly) Erlinger, Jared (Mary) Erlinger, Samuel Erlinger, Jacob Erlinger and Paige Erlinger; adored great grandfather to Kylee and Payton Hess. Preceded in death by his younger twin brothers Gary Erlinger and Lary Erlinger.
After a stint in the Army and a long employment with B-Line Systems, Jim started his own manufacturer’s representative business the Jim Erlinger Company in the early 1970s, where he worked until his retirement. He spent many years active with the ERO in St. Louis.
Jim was a passionate outdoorsman, marksman, and "river rat". His shooting career culminated with his trap and skeet team winning a national competition and a trip to England to compete internationally.
Jim’s passion for the outdoors was intertwined with his love of family and tradition. Trips to the Gasconade River & Rockbridge Ranch to fish, Charleston & Orchard Farm to dove hunt, and Northcutt’s & Elsberry to deer hunt were considered on par with religious holidays and not to be missed. Deer hunting was the Erlinger rite of passage, where the boys became men and got to finally hear all the jokes they wouldn’t tell in front of Nancy.
Undoubtedly, his favorite place to spend time with his family and friends was his river house on the banks of the Mississippi river. While he claimed the Illinois bluffs made it the prettiest spot on the river, it was clear to all that watching his children and grandchildren fish, boat, shoot, swim, ski, and wakeboard gave him the most joy. Pork steaks, red licorice, and Dr. Pepper were staples of the summer, and it was rare to find an empty house without at least one of his offspring and a dog helping him with the latest project. Floodwaters were merely an inconvenience, not a deterrent, and the cottage was one of the last holdouts of the lost days of summer cottages on the river.
When Jim was not outdoors or with family, he was actively involved with the Navy League (where he was a member of its National Hall of Fame and National Commander of the Sea Cadets), the USO (Lifetime Board Member) and the Missouri Children’s Home.
Jim leaves a legacy of kindness, generosity and love, but he will undoubtedly be most remembered for his sense of humor and his weaving of jokes into almost any situation. We will remember him with smiles on our faces.
In recognition of his granddaughter Mindy, memorial contributions may be made to Epilepsy Foundation of Missouri.
Baue Funeral Homes is currently following CDC recommendations regarding mask and social distancing policies.