JIM WALLENHORST '74
Dear Members of the St. Edward Community,
It is with great sadness that I write to tell you that Jim Wallenhorst ’74, passed away peacefully this afternoon. As most of you know, Jim has been battling esophageal cancer since last spring. Jim made the decision to engage hospice several weeks ago. I spoke with Eileen, Jim’s wife of almost 34 years and son Matt a little while ago. They told me how much Jim appreciated everyone throughout the St. Edward community who reached out to him. St. Ed’s is such a tremendous part of Jim’s life and Jim is such a tremendous part of the life and history of our School. Jim was a terrific husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. His family came first.
Jim was the consummate Edsman. His creative talent as a teacher was only outpaced by his selfless and caring approach to all who knew him. After graduating from John Carroll University and teaching theology at Magnificat High School, Jim returned to teach at St. Edward. Jim established himself quickly as a superb teacher of history. He taught at St. Ed’s until he was forced to take care of his health last spring, almost four decades since he first came home. Jim was a teacher of the highest order, working with freshmen World History and IB History of the Americas in later years. Jim was demanding yet creative in his teaching methods. He knew how to engage each of his students while building the structure and time management skills most young students need when they get to high school. Jim was a team player, always focused on what would be best for his students and for his school. St. Edward High School was such a better place when Jim Wallenhorst walked our halls, which he did with such selfless grace, tremendous professionalism and limitless energy.
Jim’s creativity knew no bounds. His rallies were legendary for the effort he put into them – they were first-rate productions and highly entertaining while also igniting school spirit. Yet, it was his work with the Edwardian Players where Jim shined brightest. The tradition of excellence the Edwardian Players enjoys owes much of that tradition to Jim’s work on our plays. His work on sets and with props always went above and beyond. I remember the chandelier he built for Phantom of the Opera. It needed to shatter and be put back together for each performance. There are so many examples from students over the years. One I remember was the menus for a scene set at a French restaurant had to be in French as Jim wanted the characters to immerse themselves in the scene.
At the end of the day, Jim was a man of great faith. He didn’t complain about his diagnosis. He wanted to live as long as he could maintain a quality of life. Jim was ready when God called him home.
I know many memories will be shared by grateful colleagues and graduates in the days and weeks and months to come. Given the Covid-19 virus, arrangements will be private. The St. Edward community will celebrate Jim’s life at a date when all can attend and support Eileen and the Wallenhorst family in person. Please continue to keep the Wallenhorst family in your prayers
In Matthew 25:23, God welcomes Jim with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” You were the perfect role model for what it means to be a great teacher and colleague. Eternal rest grant unto Jim, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen