He was born July 31, 1935, in Clay County, the son of Roy and Dorothy Ruth McDonald Dressler.
He graduated from Brazil High School and continued his education at Indiana University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and government.
During his years at IU, he served as associate editor, sports editor and reporter on the Indiana Daily Student.
At the age of 28, Jim married the love of his life, Janice Haverkamp Dressler, on Jan. 31, 1964. Together, they raised their five children in Clay County.
Jim was a journalist for 38 years for newspapers in New Albany, Plainfield, Terre Haute, and Brazil, and Dayton, Ohio.
His job descriptions over the years ranged from political writer, staff writer, sports editor, managing editor and editor. He retired as editor of The Brazil Times on Feb. 28, 1998.
He was known as a fair and involved editor. He enjoyed hiring new staff and watching them progress and reach new accomplishments.
Jim was well known as a "servant to the community." He was one of the founders of the United Way in Clay County. He organized, along with Michael Lawson, the Community Focus Awards for 13 years. He always enjoyed attracting speakers for the Focus Awards, including Sen. Evan Bayh.
He was quite active on the Clay County Parks Association and very involved with the improvements to the playground, the restoration of the Charfariz dos Contos Fountain and the band shell. He also served on the YMCA board of directors during the expansion of the YMCA building.
Christmas In The Park was also on the list of the many civic involvements that Mr. Dressler felt were very important to the community.
Mr. Dressler received the Sagamore of the Wabash Award from former Gov. Frank O'Bannon in January of 1998 prior to his retirement.
Retirement from The Brazil Times was only a stopping place in the work life of James Dressler. He went on to serve on the Indiana House of Representative staff during annual legislative sessions as proofreader of bills as they advance to become law. He was also a delegate during Indiana Democratic Conventions.
Jim and Janice have been members of the Christ Community Church since the beginning of services held on North State Road 59. Jim was a faithful member of the church and enjoyed continued Bible study.
Survivors include his wife Janice, children Harry and Michele Dressler, Ohio, Jana and Jeff Nees, Brazil, Perry and Kristie Dressler, Kentucky, Jayme and Joe Robbins, Indianapolis, and Roy Dressler, Terre Haute, grandchildren Luke Dressler, Erin Dressler, JJ Nees, Ashlyn Yocom, Jenica Yocom, Brittnee Yocom Bonawitt and husband Dan, Ashley Nees and Brittney Nees, Madison Dressler, Mason Dressler, McKaydyn Dressler and Max Robbins, great-grandchildren Alex, Aubree and Brycen, aunt Evelyn Parkins and husband Wayne, Knightsville, many cousins and extended family.
Funeral services will take place Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011, at 2 p.m., at Christ Community Church, 10942 N. SR 59, Brazil, with Pastor Rich Laskowski and Brother Glen Liston officiating. Burial will follow at Summit Lawn Cemetery.
Visitation will be at the church from 10 a.m., until time of service.
The family strongly encourages donations be made in Jim's honor to Christ Community Church, 10942 N. SR 59, Brazil, Ind., 47834, or the Brazil Concert Band, in memory of James Dressler, in care of Matt Huber, 8924 N. Kennedy's Crossing Rd., Brazil, Ind., 47834.
French Funeral Home was entrusted with his care.
Light a candle in memory at www.frenchfuneralhome.com.