James Zwicki, 84, formerly of Hiawatha and Iowa City, died Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, at the Bird House Johnson County Home for Hospice. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4, at Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service. Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Memory Gardens Cemetery with military honors provided. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in Jim's memory to the Bird House Hospice Home of Johnson County or the Friends of the Animal Shelter in Iowa City. To share a thought, memory or condolence with his family, please visit the funeral home website at www.gayandciha.com.
James Lee Zwicki was born Jan. 6, 1936, in Iowa City, the son of Emil John and Stella (Jones) Zwicki. Jim married Bessie Irene Long on May 13, 1978, in Coralville, Iowa.
Jim graduated from Iowa City High School in 1953 and, after high school, he attended the United Television Laboratory in Louisville, Ky. A few months later in 1955, Jim enlisted in the U.S. Navy, attending aviation electronics technician school and eventually specializing as an airborne early warning radar repairman. Jim was hired by Rockwell Collins in 1959, retiring after 39 years with air transport in Cedar Rapids.
Jim enjoyed building, fixing and tinkering with all things electronic. He shared his joy of racing RC cars and flying model aircraft with his nephews. Jim would build the cars and planes from scratch, using his father's drill press to make the frames and suspension out of aluminum. Jim also loved short-wave radios and listening to radio stations all across the country. He spent hours at his work bench repairing antique radios. Jim had a great understanding of anything electronic and often was called on to fix a family member's TV.
Jim's family includes his stepchildren and their families, David Maresh (Joyce) and Larry Maresh (Sandra), all of Swisher, and Thomas Detweiler (Nancy) of Hiawatha, Carol Eldeen-Todesco (Joe) of Fort Pierce, Fla., Connie Detweiler Lamp (Ron) of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Deborah Griffith (Eric) of Goldsboro, N.C.; his cousin, Robert Zwicki, of Iowa City; his nieces, Sara Carroll, Donna Alfaro, Temple Hiatt, and Laura Hanneman; and nephews, Alan Jones, Kevin and Gary Shaffer.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; his sisters, Gladys Nugent and Joanne Shaffer, and a great-nephew, Phillip Travis.