James Bawden Sturges, 89, passed away on January 27, 2022 in Greensburg, Indiana. Jim was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut on August 10, 1932, the son of LeGrand F. and Louise Bawden Sturges. He graduated from Roger Ludlowe High School, in Fairfield, Connecticut, in 1950. He selected Hanover College from a catalog, and arrived on campus for the first time when he began classes in the fall of 1950. Jim found his home, and his wife, in Indiana, where he lived the rest of his life. He graduated from Hanover in 1954, where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity and the golf team. His love of golf began as a young boy when he worked as a caddie at the local course. That love continued throughout his life and he shared many great memories with his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and friends on the golf course. After graduation from college, Jim served for two years in the Marine Corps.
Jim met Jere’ Hawley at Hanover college, and they were married on June 16, 1957. She survives, with three children, Susan (Jim) Stewart, Ted (Cheryl) Sturges, and Michael (Jennifer) Sturges, his grandchildren, David (Shylah) Stewart, Andrew (Darci) Stewart, Jennifer (Bryan) Davis, Jonathan (Abby) Stewart, Adam (Courtney) Stewart, Evan Sturges, Dara Sturges, Jason Blankenship, and Samantha (Nick) Spencer, and 11 great grandchildren.
Jim began his professional career as a sales representative for Standard Oil. He accepted a position with the Decatur County Bank in 1963, where he was successful both in banking and creating customer and community connections. In 1968, he began working at First Bank & Trust, in Batesville, Indiana, and became bank president in 1978. As a leader, he was loved by his family of employees and trusted by his customers. He finished his career back in Greensburg as Chairman of the Board of Fifth Third Bank of Indiana, retiring in 1996.
Jim, along with his wife, Jere’, always made community service a priority. Jim was a member of the Greensburg United Methodist Church, where he served as financial secretary. He was on the Board of Trustees at Hanover College for 30 years. He received the Key to the City in Batesville, where he was on the Mayor’s Committee for Performing Arts, and was a founder of the Batesville Mini-Festival. In Greensburg, he was Optimist Man of the Year, Decatur County United Fund Volunteer of the Year, a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow, and a recipient of the Stephen Decatur Award. He helped raise funds for the Decatur County Memorial Hospital, the United Fund, the YMCA, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and organized golf outings for Hospice. Jim was an avid sports fan, with his favorite teams being the Cincinnati Reds, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Indiana Hoosiers, the Purdue Boilermakers, and the Greensburg Pirates. Jim loved his family, his community, and was a friend to all.
A visitation for family and friends will be held on Friday, FEBRUARY 25, 2022 from 11:00 am until the time of the Funeral at 1:00 pm. Rev. Mike Beck and Rev. Chris Stephens will be officiating. Burial will follow at the South Park Cemetery. Memorial contributions can be made to the United Methodist Church or to any of the Charities that Jim supported. Online condolences can be made to the family at www.gilliland-howe.com