James Ivers, 75, of Brookings, passed away on Saturday, May 18, 2019, at his home at ADVANCE.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, May 22, 2019, at Eidsness Funeral Home in Brookings, beginning at 11 a.m. Burial will take place at Greenwood Cemetery in Brookings following a time of fellowship after the service concludes. A visitation will be held the evening prior, May 21, 2019, at Eidsness Funeral Home from 5 until 7 p.m.
James Howard Ivers was born on June 16, 1943, in Brookings, South Dakota, to Max and Verna (Simon) Ivers. He spent his early years living in Fulda, Minnesota, Sutherland, Iowa, and Dell Rapids, South Dakota. In 1954, James moved with his family to Brookings, to live with his grandfather, H.O. Simon.
James attended special education classes at the Dell Rapids school, and later in the Brookings school system, which was taught by his beloved mother, Verna Ivers. These classes were organized by other parents in the area, who had children with special needs.
In 1958, James went to live in Redfield, South Dakota, and became a resident of the South Dakota Developmental Center. In 1992, James returned to Brookings, and became a client of ADVANCE in Brookings, and a resident of the Yorkshire Group Home. The staff and residents of both ADVANCE and his home at Yorkshire were so kind to James throughout the years, and have truly become his family.
Living in Brookings also allowed Kathy Hill, his sister and guardian, to assist in the overseeing of his care. This was a true blessing that they could become reunited and reconnect.
James’s disability inspired and motivated his family, as well as other families with children with special needs to fight for special education programs in the Brookings school system. This became a reality in 1964. His mother Verna was a true pioneer in this field, teaching elementary special education. Her dedication was truly a gift.
Survivors include James’s sister, Kathy Hill, of Brookings; nephews: Scott (Pam) Hill of Volga, and Todd (Laura) Hill of Sioux Falls; great-nephew Mitchell Hill; great-great-nephew Maxwell Jennen; great-great-niece Ellie Jennen; and Sheena Jennen.
James is preceded in death by his parents, Max and Verna Ivers; grandparents: H.O. and Margaret Simon and Henry and Hazel Ivers; brother-in-law Marlin Hill; great-nephews Thomas and Matthew Hill; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.
In lieu of flowers, James’s family requests that family and friends consider a memorial donation to the ADVANCE Yorkshire Group Home, so that his ADVANCE family may further receive the exceptional care that James had been provided throughout his time there.