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James Lester Ensign

Posted August 06, 2013 in Obituaries, West Des Moines

May 27, 1948 – August 4, 2013

James Ensign

James Ensign

James Lester Ensign, 65, passed away August 4, 2013 in Des Moines, Iowa. Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday, August 7 at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, 5625 Franklin Ave., Des Moines, IA 50310. A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, August 8, also at the church. Burial with military rites will follow the service at Jordan Cemetery in West Des Moines, Iowa.

James was born on May 27, 1948 in Woodstock, IL to Roland and Carrie Ensign. He graduated from Harvard High School in 1967 and from Southern Illinois University in 1982 with a degree in cinema and photography from the College of Communication and Fine Arts. James, a Vietnam veteran, volunteered for service in the U.S. Army attaining the rank of SP5 in the Signal Corps as a photographer. During his lifetime, James worked as a professional photographer for several newspapers. He loved the Lord, his family, photography, computers, reading and the Chicago Cubs, and was well versed in many related areas.

He was an elder and member of Mt. Olive Lutheran Church for the past ten years. When he was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Des Moines in the 1990s, he was very involved with the Sudanese and Laotian missions. He was a counselor at Camp Okoboji.

James will be missed by his loving wife of 28 years, Kristin; and their sons whom James loved very much, Max and Zhania; mother, Carrie; brothers, George and his daughter, Tammy and her son Ken; brother, Tom and his son Tommy (Nicole) and their children, Kayden and Kaylyn; mother-in-law, Sandra Wright; four brothers-in-law, John (Christine) and their children Ana, Jack, Ella, and Natalie; Tom (Donna) and their children Brian and Matt; Doug; and Brian and his children Shelby and Brianna. James will also be missed by many foreign exchange students that Kristin and James welcomed into their home. He was preceded in death by his father Roland.

Contributions may be made to the Mt. Olive Lutheran School or the American Cancer Society. To sign the online guest book, go to


Information provided by:
Iles Funeral Homes
Westover Chapel
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA 50322

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