ALLIANCE, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Jim Hahlen, 85, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 4, 2023 at his home in Alliance, Ohio. His battle with Parkinson’s Disease showed his courage in facing challenges with a smile and continued love of life.
Jim was born on September 9, 1937 to Laverne (Schoeni) Hahlen-Mani and Kenneth Hahlen in Alliance.
Jim learned the value of hard work as a kid working on Pappy and Grandma Schoeni’s farm.
After graduating as a proud Goshen Gopher (class of 1955), he married the love of his life Arlene Giovanini and they built a life and family. Together they had four children, Paul, Patty, Judy and Molly.
The lessons he learned on the farm he carried as a lifelong entrepreneur. He began his work life with his uncle (and best friend), Kenny Schoeni, in the drain tile business earning $150 a month in the summer months. In the winter he worked as a truck driver to make ends meet. He bought the drain tile business from Uncle Kenny and began Jim Hahlen Farm Drainage. From there he went on to start Fairway Construction. He built golf courses all along the east coast and as far west as Arkansas. He partnered up with Don Wutrick in Wutrick Excavating then spent several years in partnership with his son-in-law, Mike Stahl and Wedge Hardwood Products. He finished his career as Supervisor of Field Operations for Columbiana County with Lake Region Oil.
In retirement, he loved spending time with his grandsons, Matt and Luke and the Hahlen Line Service Crew. He was always eager to lend his extensive knowledge to them at the round table’s watering hole.
Jim was a pillar in the community. He joined the Masons in 1978 and was very active for over 45 years, serving in many roles. Jim was the Master of the Homeworth Lodge 499 in 1984 and 1986. He became the 24 th Masonic District Deputy from 1989-1992. He was inducted into the Tadmor Shrine and Alliance Shrine Club in 1979. He was chief personal aid to Bob Parks, Potentate of Tadmore Shrine in 1999. He was inducted into the Royal Order of Jesters in 1996 and served as the Director of the Royal Order of the Jesters in 2006. He was a member of the Shrine Gojos and Temple Guard and a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Youngstown.
Jim honored his heritage by bringing his kids up on the farm and in 4-H. He was an active member of the Columbiana County Steer Committee and his family spent a week at the Columbiana County Fair entering steers for nearly 20 years. Jim was a past President of the West Branch Athletic Booster Club and was instrumental in the building of the Clinton Heacock Football Stadium.
Jim and Arlene loved to travel and visited all 50 states through the years. Jim also had a lifelong love of cars and motorcycles. They traveled through every lower 48 state but one on their Harley Davidson motorcycle. Jim valued history and spent countless hours restoring a 1946 Chevy Dump Truck which he then showcased in local parades. He had a love of golf and spent many hours on the course after retirement.
Jim was very proud of being an alumni of Goshen High School (currently West Branch High School) and actively worked to bring his fellow classmates together for picnics and road trips. Jim was honored with the Distinguished Alumi award from the Goshen High School Alumni Association in 2015.
More than anything, Jim loved to have fun and laughter was a way of life in the Hahlen household. Weekends spent at Ponderosa Park brought a love of country music to the entire family, especially the Statler Brothers and Dolly Parton but he will forever be known as the guy who introduced Bill Grogan’s Goat to the world and it was our family song. Jim had endless “material” to the amazement of his kids. “When you’re born dumb, you’re dumb a long time”.
Jim and Arlene found a home away from home in Green Valley, Arizona and wintered there for 20 years making a whole new group of friends there. He will long be remembered as the “margarita man” by many and we will forever be raising a glass in his honor.
Jim loved his grandkids and great-grandkids and never missed a soccer game, baseball game, football game, wrestling match or musical in which one of his kiddos was participating.
Jim is survived by his wife of 67 years, Arlene (Giovanini) Hahlen of Alliance and by his children, Paul (Mary Lou) Hahlen of Beloit, Patty (Tom) Wallace of Salem, Judy (Mike) Stahl of Alliance and Molly (Vance) Dunning of Charlotte, North Carolina; his sister, Kathy (Dave) Fuller of Lugoff, South Carolina; eight grandchildren, Matt (Stephanie) Hahlen, Luke (Jessica) Wallace, Maria (Luke) Smith, Diana Wallace, Leah Stahl, Jane Stahl, Jack Stahl and Sam Dunning and finally he is survived by his darling great-grandchildren, Lilly, Cora, Max, Scarlett, Emma, Theo and Myles, who was born on the day of his passing.
Jim was preceded in death by two grandchildren, Amber Stahl and Jillian Dunning.
Until we meet again, Jim – Dad – Papa – Papa Jimmy. Your legacy of love and laughter will carry on through your family and friends. We love you.
Donations can be made in Jim’s memory to the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital, Erie, 1645 W. 8th Street, Erie, PA 16505 or Shriner’s Children’s Hospital, Dayton, 1 Children’s Plaza 2 West, Dayton, OH 45404.
A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. at Gednetz-Ruzek-Brown Funeral Home in Sebring.
A time of visitation will be held on Monday, April 10, 2023 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. and the hour prior to the service on Tuesday, April 11, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
A Masonic Service will be held on Monday, April 10 at 5:00 p.m. with a Royal Order of Jesters Service to follow.
Friends and family may sign the guest register and send condolences online at www.grfuneralhome.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Hahlen, please visit our floral store.
A television tribute will air Thursday, April 6 at the following approximate times: 5:17 a.m. on WKBN, 8:39 a.m. on FOX, 5:21 p.m. on WYTV and 6:35 p.m. on MyYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.