I started this job with the Lake Maxinkuckee Environmental Council last fall. I was fortunate to step into a position that was already running quite well. One reason for that is the leadership and continuity provided by the LMEF Board of Directors and Jim has been part of that board since 2006. He was recruited by Tom Sams, back when Tina Hissong was the Executive Director.
That says a lot about his commitment to the environment, and specifically Lake Maxinkuckee.
Jim is an Indiana native and spent his summers at Lake Maxinkuckee his entire life. His grandfather, Karl Sturman, purchased their first cottage in 1935 with $5,000 he inherited. In 1953, Karl purchased a dormant fishing camp on the East Shore with approximately 350’ of lake frontage. There were five structures on the property and each cottage had one lightbulb in the living room. Jim and Emily’s cottage is located on that same property. Their son Jason lives in a house that was on the side of the old main cottage and their other son, Jake, is building a house on some acreage behind the original property.
That makes Jim’s grandchildren 5th generation Sturmans at the lake.
I recently had an opportunity to talk with Jim about his time serving on the board and time spent at the lake. When asked about his favorite memory he was hard pressed to come up with just one but said it would probably be playing along the lake shore when he was a boy of about six or seven years old. “The landscape was different back then with more natural areas to use your imagination.” It was easy to see that Jim’s love of the lake began at an early age and has lasted his entire life.
Now instead of playing Indian along the shore you will find Jim biking, boating, playing golf, shooting skeet or water walking. Jim is very accomplished but I’m pretty sure the water walking is IN the water and NOT ON TOP!
Jim and his wife Emily have passed along a great legacy – love for this beautiful lake. The Lake Maxinkuckee we have today is due to people like them who care deeply about the lake and the memories created here.
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”William Arthur Ward
Thank you, Jim, for serving on the board for so many years. We are grateful for your leadership, your guidance, your time and your commitment.
Hi, I’m Debbie Palmer. I received a BS in Horticulture from Purdue University. Here at LMEF, I am responsible for outreach presentations, monitoring the lake and it’s wetlands, project manager for restoration and research projects, and act as a community resource for all things related to the well-being of Lake Maxinkuckee and its surrounding watershed. I completed Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy, volunteer with the Indiana Clean Lakes Program, Hoosier River Watch and Marshall County Lakes and Waters and serve as a Board Member for Indiana Lakes Management Society.