IN MEMORIAM: Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 101’s James Obst

James H. “Jim” Obst, a member of Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 101, died Nov. 8 at age 87.

Brother Obst, of Belleville, Ill., was a life-long member of Zion Lutheran Church in Belleville. He graduated from Belleville Township High School in 1951. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in August 1954 and was assigned to the USS Johnston. He was discharged in December 1957, attaining the rank of 1st Class Pipefitter. He worked as a plumber for 44 years in the Belleville area.

On May 17, 1958, he married Shirley Jean Schmitz, of Belleville. Their son Michael was born in December 1959. Through the years, he was a member of the Walther League, Zion Church choir, Couples Club and Board of Properties.

Brother Obst was preceded in death by his parents, Roland F. and Caroline J. (nee Kottmann) Obst; two brothers, Lester and Alan Obst; sister-in-law, Betty Obst and Mary Knepper; and a brother-in-law, Walter Knepper.

He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Shirley J. nee Schmitz (nee Schmitz) Obst; his son, Michael (Sandra) Obst, of Belleville; three granddaughters, Stacey (Scott) Paule, Leslie (Dan) Prescott, and Katie (Rudy) Croon; 10 great-grandchildren; and a sister-in-law, Dorothy Obst.

A funeral service was held Nov. 13 at Zion Lutheran Church followed by a burial with military honors at Walnut Hill Cemetery in Belleville.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Zion Lutheran Church. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

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