James Robert Amend, 86, was called into eternity by the Lord Jesus Christ on October 31, 2013. He passed away at home in Aurora, Colorado after a brief illness, surrounded by family.
Born September 2, 1927 in Worland, Wyoming to Jacob J. Amend and Lydia (Fahrenbruch) Amend, he was the youngest of four children. Jim's siblings (all deceased) included one sister, Evelyn Fleury, and two brothers, Donald and Clifford, all of whom grew up during the Great Depression.
During World War II the family moved to Ogden, Utah where Jim graduated from high school. During this time he came to know Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior under the teaching and discipleship of his pastor William P. Whittemore, who encouraged him to pursue a degree at Wheaton College in Illinois.
During his studies at Wheaton in 1945, Jim was involved in the budding ministry of Youth for Christ and was acquainted with evangelist Billy Graham during Graham's early days of preaching on the street corners of downtown Chicago. Jim fondly remembered playing golf one weekend with Graham.
Interrupting his college studies twice for military service, Jim served from 1946-1949 in the Army Medical Corps, first at Fitzsimons General Hospital in Denver, then at the 4th Army Medical Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany. During the Korean conflict, he was called-up a second time for duty, and later completed his degree in medical technology from the University of Colorado in 1954.
On December 3, 1950 Jim married Mary Ann (Meyer) Amend of Denver, Colorado - his bride of nearly 63 years.
During a long and distinguished career in the medical field, Jim served with various institutions, including: the Rocky Mountain Arsenal; Denver Clinic; University of Colorado Medical Center Transplant Program; and the Veteran's Administration Hospital, from which he retired.
In 1967, at age 39, the Denver Society of Medical Technologists presented him with the first "Medical Technologist of the Year" award for his surgical research on organ transplants and his refinement of the "ALS" anti-lymphocyte serum used to prevent rejection of transplanted human organs.
In 1968 he was nominated by the Colorado State Society of Medical Technologists for the nationally coveted Corning Award, and was chosen as the finalist among a distinguished field of nominees. As a result, the American Society of Medical Technologists at their 36th annual national convention in Houston, Texas named him the "Outstanding Medical Technologist of the Year" for development of the transplant serum.
Active in various organizations during his lifetime, Jim served in various offices of the local, state and national Societies of Medical Technologists (including terms as President) and on the national Advisory Council of the American Society of Medical Technologists. He was active with the Cancer program of the Leukemia Foundation, and fund-raising for the Colorado Health Careers Council. He also served as a consultant with the surgical research laboratory at the University of Colorado.
Jim and Mary Ann have three adult children: Susan (married to Daniel) Einarsen of Centennial, Colorado; Barth Amend of Abilene, Kansas; and Gretchen Amend of Denver.
He is also survived by three grandchildren: Nathaniel Einarsen (recently married to Daryl Ann Caudill); Amy Cox (recently married to Joshua Cox) and Eric Einarsen - all residing in the Centennial area; as well as numerous nephews and nieces. Preceded in death are his parents and siblings.
Jim enjoyed bowling, travel, family celebrations, following Colorado's professional sports teams (the Broncos, Rockies, Avs, Nuggets), and reading the daily Denver Post from cover to cover. He was an avid reader of a wide range of literature, with the result that he could beat almost anyone at Trivial Pursuit.
Throughout his life Jim placed the highest priority on his relationship with God, along with devotion to his wife and family, and service to his church - Galilee Baptist of Denver - where he was honored with the office of "Lifetime Deacon". Jim's favorite Bible verse is Colossians 1:18b . . . "that in all things He might have the pre-eminence."
Memorial services include: Visitation at Aurora Chase Chapel (11th & Havana) on Sunday, November 17, 2-4pm; Interment at Fort Logan National Military Cemetery (Lakewood) on Monday, November 18 at 10am, followed by a memorial service at 11:30am at Galilee Baptist Church, 1091 S Parker Rd, Denver, CO 80231. Memorial gifts (or in lieu of flowers) may be made to Galilee Baptist Church for the James Amend Memorial Fund for Missions. Contact 303-750-2277, http://mygbcdenver.org.