Sky Scene 07

James David Myers

January 1, 1966 ~ November 26, 2021 (age 55)


James David Myers made headline news with his birth on January 1, 1966 as Burlington’s first baby of the new year.  He continued to make the headlines of the sports section throughout his life.  After a seven year non-stop battle with GIST sarcoma, he passed from this life on Friday, November 26th at the age of 55 surrounded by his wife, Monica and his daughters Marissa, Morgan, and Johanna.

Jim was born the eighth child to Norman “Duke” Myers and Anita Beine Myers.  He grew up in Burlington and was a dedicated basketball player for the BHS Grayhounds.  He formed a special bond with his coach, Don Gibbs, who was not only a mentor, but a trusted and endearing friend throughout his adult life.  During his senior year, Jim guided the Grayhounds to a Mississippi 8 conference championship in basketball and a fourth place finish in the state tournament. He led the Mississippi 8 in rebounds and was second in scoring and continues to hold the record at BHS for most rebounds per game. He was an All-State selection by the Iowa Newspaper Association and was the 1984 All-Hawk Eyeland Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year. He was selected to play in the 1984 Dr. Pepper All-Star Game.  

After graduating from Burlington High School in 1984, he played college basketball at Wayne State in Nebraska, Southeastern Community College, and William Penn College where he graduated in 1988.  He enlisted in the United States Navy in 1989 and served aboard the USS Cayuga during Desert Shield.  

Jim began his coaching career at Keokuk Cardinal Stritch from 1996-1998. From 1998-2000 he was the assistant varsity coach for the Notre Dame girls’ and became the assistant boys’ basketball coach for BHS for one year.  He enjoyed his time as the BHS varsity girls’ coach from 2001-2005.  He left his position at BHS to become the first head women’s basketball coach at Southeastern Community College from 2005-2007 where he built the program from the ground up.  He returned to Notre Dame as an assistant for the girls’ program before officially becoming the head coach in 2014 to present.  He was selected as the Iowa Girls’ Basketball Coaches Association class 4A District Coach of the Year in 2005 while coaching at Burlington High School and was selected again in 2016 as the 1A District Coach of the Year while coaching at Notre Dame.  He coached the Notre Dame Nikes in the state tournament for five years in a row, four of those as head coach.

He began his professional career at Young House Family Services where he started ACT Day Treatment and he worked at Burlington High School on the administrative team.  This is where he began to make a positive impact on area youth.  He worked in the private industry for RMGD, Physical Therapy Works, and Brockway Mechanical and Roofing before retiring in March of 2021.

Jim was a strong believer in community involvement.  He volunteered his time on the American Little League Board, was a coach for Little League, and officiated basketball games and flag football games for the Y.  He started the Southeast Iowa Suns basketball team which led to multiple girls’ and boys’ teams at all levels.  He coached for Team Iowa, an AAU team out of Cedar Rapids, and held a variety of skills camps for youth throughout southeast Iowa and west central Illinois. He and his wife served as host parents for players on the SCC basketball team during the early 2000s. He announced the BHS Grayhound football games and the SCC Men’s basketball games on KBUR prior to his diagnosis.  He recently served on the advisory board for the construction  trades department at Southeastern Community College and Southwestern Community College. In September he was honored for his service to the Associated Builders and Contractors of Iowa Apprenticeship and Training Trust.

Jimmy enjoyed working in the yard and was well known in the neighborhood for the meticulous care of his lawn.  He enjoyed cheering for the Chicago Bears and Cubs.  He was honored to be on the field and in the press box during a University of Notre Dame football game cheering on his beloved Irish.  He enjoyed coaching youth throughout the area and was known for his competitive spirit on the court, in the stands, or while playing video games.  He was an avid lover of shoes and enjoyed shopping trips with his wife and daughters. He will forever be known for his smile, dry humor, and love for his family and friends.  

Coach Myers is survived by his wife Monica (Mathews) Myers, his daughters Marissa (Josh) Riffel of Mediapolis, Morgan Myers of Wilson, NC, and Johanna Myers of Burlington and his beloved granddaughters Georgia and Margot Riffel.  He is also survived by his siblings: Michelle (Tom) Schulte of Burlington, Christine (Bill) Smith of Keokuk, Joseph (Mary) Myers, Maureen (Mark) Behne, Laura Myers, Veronica Royer all of Burlington and John Myers of Perth Australia,  mother and father-in-law Dwayne and Georgia Mathews and sister-in-law Debbie Mathews of Danville, IA and brother-in-law Steve Mathews of Charlestown, WV. as well as numerous nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, and brother-in-law Gary Luksetich.

Visitation will be held at Prugh-Thielen Funeral Home on Thursday, December 2nd where the family will receive friends from 5:00-7:30 . The Rosary will be recited at 4:00 PM.  Funeral Mass of the Resurrection will be held Friday, December 3rd at St. John’s Catholic Church at 11:00 AM.  Graveside committal will occur in Aspen Grove Cemetery following the service. Memorials have been established for the Des Moines County Humane Society and for graduating seniors at Burlington and Notre Dame High Schools.

To send flowers to James' family, please visit our floral store.


December 2, 2021

4:00 PM
Prugh~Thielen Funeral Home
3940 Division
Burlington, IA 52601

December 2, 2021

5:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Prugh~Thielen Funeral Home
3940 Division
Burlington, IA 52601

Funeral Mass of the Resurrection
December 3, 2021

11:00 AM
Divine Mercy Parish - St. John the Baptist Catholic Church

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