James Harold Ortwein, 91, passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 22, 2019. James (Jimbo) was born on August 31, 1927 to the late Malvin and Alice Ortwein. He was also proceeded in death by his Grandson, Stephen Matthew Ortwein. 3 Brothers, Hubert, William, and Robert. 2 Sisters, Betty, and Mildred. He is survived by his loving wife of 71 years, Aline (Gigi) Ortwein. Sons, John (Linda), Stephen, (Kathy). 3 Grandchildren, Leigh, Kristi Bottoms (Brad), and James (Holli). A Great Grand Daughter, Miya. His sister, Alice Marie, and his Sister-in-law Pauline. He also has numerous nephews and nieces. Although his name was James, he was most well known as Jimbo a name give to him by his grandchildren.
Jim was a veteran of WWII, serving in the U.S. Navy. From an earlier age, Jim was working for his Dad as a sign painter, graphic designer, and designer of neon. He was fond of saying, he never worked a day in his life, because he loved what he did. Upon returning from the Navy, he married Aline and they lived in Chattanooga and raised their family there. Working with his Dad and brothers at M.H. Ortwein and Sons Sign Co, until the death of his father, taking over his own sign shop. In 1965, he was a ringleader of the Brothers of the Brush, celebrating the Sesquicentennial of Chattanooga. He and his fellow Brothers of the Brush, Keystone cops, even (arrested) Jimmy Carter who was serving as the Governor of Georgia. In many neighborhoods of Chattanooga he designed and made ChristmasDecorations for Garden Clubs, all vying for the best decorated neighborhood in the city.
Jim was always busy in the Church. For over fifty years he led the Worship Services of Ridgeview Baptist, Oak Grove Baptist, Fairview Baptist, and 1st Baptist Church of Dunlap for for over 20 years. Was the Youth Director at many of them as well. Was a Deacon for most of his life in the Church and was Deacon Emeritus at Ridge View Baptist.
Anyone who knew Jimbo, knew that the sun rose and set on his beloved Tennessee Volunteers and the Lady Vols. Pat Summit never realized all the coaching tips and advice he gave her while watching the games on tv. One of his favorite days is when he got to go Thompson-Bolin where he watched his Lady Vols and as he called her, Miss Pat. In his latter years you would have been hard pressed to find him wearing anything but his Tennessee Orange.
Jimbo also loved his little cat, Katie Scarlett Ortwein, often singing to her. Scarlett hardly ever left his side. If you met him, he would always ask, are you a local boy? Or are you a foreigner? He never met a stranger. He always held his darling Gigi's hand. What a great example Jimbo was and Gigi as well.
The family will receive friends on Thursday, June 27 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the sanctuary of Ridge View Baptist Church. Pastor Bruce Sloan will lead the celebration of Jimbo's life starting at 1 p.m. in the church. Interment will be at the Chattanooga National Cemetery at 2:30 p.m.. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Hospice of Chattanooga and Alive Hospice of Murfreesboro.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Harold "Jimbo" Ortwein, please visit our floral store.
Hospice of Chattanooga
4411 Oakwood Drive, Chattanooga TN 37416
1718 Patterson Street, Nashville TN 37202