Date of Death: March 21, 2021

Service Details

Visitation will be held Saturday, March 27, 2021 from 9:00-11:00 a.m. at Hohner Funeral Home, 1004 Arnold St., Three Rivers, prior to a time of reflection on Jim’s life at 11:00 a.m. at the funeral home. Interment with full military honors will follow at Riverside Cemetery.

A video of the Time of Reflecting on Jim’s Life is available here. A video of his graveside military honors is available here.

Obituary Notice

James Edward Hambruch, age 53, of Three Rivers, passed away Sunday, March 21, 2021 surrounded by his wife and children due to COVID complications.

He was born on September 11, 1967, in Fairfax County, VA the son of Robert Gary and Bernharde (Korczynski) Hambruch.

Jim graduated from Junction City High School in Junction City, KS and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force.

Jim was stationed at Myrtle Beach, SC for six years and then transferred to Ellsworth Air Force Base in SD. He served overseas for Operation Desert Shield/Storm.

Jim transitioned from active duty to Reserves in 1996 out of Grissom Air Reserve Base in Peru, IN. He was deployed multiple times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

During Jim’s career in the Reserves he achieved the rank of E9 and was promoted to Chief Master Sergeant in 2015. He also earned his associates degree in aviation maintenance technology from the Community College of the Air Force.

Before retiring on February 8, 2020, Jim received many awards and decorations among them the Meritorious Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and Kuwait Liberation Medal.

Jim married his soulmate, Holly VanVleck, on February 27, 1999 in Dyer, IN.

Jim was employed with Eaton Corporation since 1994 working out of South Bend, IN and then Galesburg.

Jim loved God, family, his country and football. He was a lifelong Kansas City Chiefs and Nebraska Cornhuskers fan and was happiest watching football with friends and family with an ice cold beer.

Jim was a very caring man with a huge heart and would do anything for anybody at a moment’s notice. His bright smile and laugh could lighten any mood.

Jim was preceded in death by his father, Robert, and mother, Bernharde.

Remaining to cherish his memory are his loving wife, Holly. His children, Jacob (Liz) Hambruch of South Bend, IN; Morgan (Laketon) Belinger of Norton Shores; and Madison Hambruch (Rikki) of Three Rivers. Jim was elated to learn he would be welcoming his first grandchild in October this year and would’ve made an amazing Paw Paw. Siblings, Robert (Michelle) Hambruch, Jennifer (Jarod) Wege and Steven Hambruch. Step-mother, Christina Hambruch and step-father, AJ Boone, along with many other extended family. Countless close friends and military brothers and sisters.

Additional Information

Donations in Jim’s memory may be directed to American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Envelopes are available at the funeral home in care of Jim’s arrangements.

Please Leave Your Condolences

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29 Comments

  1. My apologies for my condolences being late, but I just found out about Jim’s passing. As I read through the other messages, there is no doubt that Jim touched all of our lives and we were blessed to have him in it.

    Gods speed my friend and my God provide comfort to you his family and to us his friends.

  2. Chief Jimmy visited me in the hospital in my daughter’s stead, as she was unable to get up to Saint Joseph at the time. It was an honorable thing to do, as we had not met up until that time. I was sorry I could not return the honor, due to restrictions, even though I am coincidentally in Grand Rapids now. The story was passed on to others, who were inspired by this wonderful act of selflessness. You never know how many people you impact with each action.

  3. My condolences to you, the family and friends of Jim.

    We all know the kind of man Jim was here in this life.

    I love Jim. He always cared, and showed respect to me.
    He would make me smile, and laugh, even in the tough times. When Jim found out my mother passed from this life to heaven last year, he looked me in the eyes and said, “she is proud of the man you are.”
    Jimbo knew without ever being told what was in my heart.

    The greatest blessing and honor Jim showed me was to call me brother!!

    He talked with me many times about “being a man of God” and encouraged me to keep doing what I am called to do. Never once judging for my faults.
    I believe Jim is in heaven with the Lord. Because of his faith in Jesus.

    We each have a part of Jim within us. I pray you will cherish that part of himself that Jim left with you.

    God bless you all!!!

  4. My sincere condolences to you Holly and your family. I worked numerous years with Jim at Grissom as a crew chief and as an expeditor. I will always remember his hard work ethic and his sense humor. May God bless you and keep you and your family during this time.

  5. Holly and family, you are all in my thoughts and prayers. I am filled with sorrow. Holly, you and Jim will always have a special place in my heart; you both looked out and helped my parents in so many ways. It gave me great comfort just knowing you were there. And I loved my mother telling me how she could hear Jim “cussing at that football on tv” from across the street. Jim had such a huge presence. The world won’t be the same without him. Until we meet again my friend.

  6. Jim and I had only exchanged greetings in the hallways at Eaton but one day while waiting for a meeting we ended up talking for a few minutes about family, especially our children. It’s not often a short chat with someone can let you truly know them but after that I knew Jim was passionately devoted to his family and he would do anything for them. My deepest sympathies to Jim’s family and friends during this emotional time. May he rest in peace.

  7. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. I am wishing you hope in the midst of sorrow and comfort in the midst of pain. In the short time I worked with Jim, I found him to be a hard worker, disciplined, and always willing to help out with what needed done. He’s definitely gone too soon and will be missed. RIP Jim.

  8. Jimmy was one of my best friends. He will be missed by all of us on the Eaton assembly team. He was always concerned about everyone else’s feelings and well being. I will miss the fun times we had together: the jokes, his laugh, and long talks. I won’t share all of them but I used to tease him about when he would go to Grissom for his reserve weekends, that he was really at the Air Force museum dusting off air planes! Jim and I would talk every morning about faith, our wives and children, work, and this crazy world we live in. Jim loved his family friends and his country. That was a given, and everyone that knew him, knew that! My sincere condolences to Holly, Jacob, Morgan, Madison and the rest of Jim’s family. God, please comfort them as they grieve. We love and will miss you dearly, my brother!

  9. it was a pleasure to work with Jim at Grissom on our reserve weekends and many deployments. His quick wit and humor made things tolerable while we were away from our families. Jimbo was a true crew chief he loved working on the aircraft and would not want to leave the flight line until all the aircraft were fixed. He truly didn’t mind busting his knuckles while repairing the aircraft. He took all the cuts and dirt as a badge of honor. On many deployments he knew when someone was feeling down and would engage them to lift there spirit. He was a true leader.
    I will like to pass on my condolences to wife Holly and his family.
    Rest in peace Jimbo .
    Sid.

  10. Jim was a very close friend of mine. We worked together on the same team for over 10 years. I could always go to Jim for anything personal and he would always help and keep it between us. We had several business trips together and lots of fun during them (after our work was done of course). He was a man that put family first and his friends were part of his family. I will dearly miss Jim and our talks. Love you my Brother.

  11. My sincere condolences to the family. I will miss working with Jim at Eaton, he had a generous heart and was always willing to help, exchange stories and a laugh. He will be missed.

  12. I am so saddened by the loss of this great man. He was so dependable and always helpful at work, but knew how to have fun with it too. I will miss his big smile and personality. My fondest memories were working with Jim on the Flag Raising Ceremonies we held for Sept. 11th and Veteran’s Day at the Eaton office. He took great pride in representing the armed forces at those events. He will be missed by many.

  13. My condolences to Jim’s family and friends. I remember many of our opportunities to celebrate the people that have served our country at Eaton and Jim was always a part of those events. I am so sorry to hear about this loss.

  14. My heart aches for Jim’s family. Jim was truly a unique and special person. As others have mentioner, his candor was what made Jim who he was. I worked with Jim often. I always knew I could count on Jim to get whatever was need done. Jim was honest, dependable, and witty: all around great man.

    I will miss you Jim until I come home also. My prayers and sincere condolences for Holly and the family.

  15. I was saddened to hear about Jim’s passing and so sorry for the family’s loss. I worked with Jim at Eaton and can say he was always dependable and willing to go the extra mile. What I appreciated about Jim the most was he was direct and to the point and always had a way of making a joke out of it while doing it. Rest in peace Jim, it’s definitely not going to be the same without you.

  16. Jim (The Jimmer) came to work for me in the Eaton Galesburg lab in 2005. I still remember the day. As many have already mentioned Jim was a special individual to say the least. He was always the first one to speak up in department meetings with the difficult question no one else wanted to ask as well as telling me things that sometimes I didn’t want to hear but had to be said non the less. After I retired Jim stayed in contact. His jokes and occasional text messages always brought a smile to my face. He was much more than an employee he was a friend. I feel very blessed to have known, worked and fished with Jim. I’ll miss you my friend. Rest in peace! My thoughts and prayers to Holly and the kids.

  17. Our thoughts & prayers🙏 go out to Holly and Jim’s children. Our dear friend Jim will definitely be missed. We had many lunches together on reserve weekends. He was a kind man and was my husband’s roommate when they were deployed together…That is how I got to know him and I knew right off the bat that his family was very important to him from the way his eyes would light up when he would talk about them. May your memories of your husband and father get you through this very difficult time.
    Our deepest condolences,
    Chad & Venica Weisend

  18. My sincere condolences to the family. What a tragic and unexpected event, never a thought that this could happen to a man who should have had many more years of life ahead. He will be missed by me and I’m sure the many, many more that had the good fortune of knowing him.

    May you rest in peace Jim.

  19. I’m stunned to here about your leaving us so soon. Life was so short for you and I know you had a great deal of things yet to accomplish. I pray God’s love will surround your family and help them through this tragic time. I have many good memories cousin.

  20. Jim my good friend I will miss you deeply, we had just started our 9/11 camping weekends last year and had a blast. It was all my pleasure to have you as a good friend, and our favorite little word that I always called you. Thank you for being my Master of Ceremonies for my retirement. God Bless you and your family, you will be deeply missed. 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

  21. Jim was a great friend and I enjoy doing our after work walks, you know that 3 mile we needed to have for our fitness program. Jim loved to laugh at us and with for all sorts of reasons. I was great full to have been one of his trainers. Even though we did not see each other every day I liked keeping in touch through the internet.
    Jim always talked about his family and showed his love for them.

  22. I wanted to reach out and wish you and your family comfort and support during this time. Jim was a classmate in Junction City and I have a lot of good memories of him. He was funny and kind and always had a smile on his face. I am so sorry for your loss.

  23. You will TRULY be missed by your family. The love and devotion only got stronger through the years. This part of the family sends their DEEPEST sympathies to each of you..
    JESUS will be with YOU- and we THANK HIM for that.

  24. Jim was a great friend and mentor. I was so privilege to have served with him at Grissom. Had many trips and great memories. We both were on our last trip together with the Air Force Reserves to England before retirement. My Granddaughter and Grandson, who Jim got me off work as much as possible while in England, they both adopted him as their Uncle. He will be greatly missed. RIP my friend. Prayers 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏 for his family.

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