Following in dad’s footsteps, Siebert receives award


HUNTINGBURG — Jim Siebert doesn’t have a towering frame, but the Jasper man stood tall Wednesday night.


Local scouts of the Lincoln Heritage District honored Siebert at the 26th annual Distinguished Citizen Award Banquet Wednesday at the Huntingburg Event Center. He owns and operates Siebert’s clothing stores in Jasper and French Lick with his wife, Jane (Rowekamp), and has been an active member of Boy Scouts of America, which will soon be renamed Scouts BSA, throughout his life.

Siebert’s father, Bob, won the Distinguished Citizen award 18 years ago, making the honor that much more special.

“Any time I can keep up with my dad, I feel like I’ve arrived,” Siebert said before the event. “Because Dad was always — and still is — well thought of in the community. Any time I can do something as well as he has, I feel like I’ve succeeded.” His mother, Josie, is also his hero.

The award is given annually to a recipient who upholds the scout oath and scout law, as well as contributes their time, talent and treasure to better the community. The banquet serves as the biggest fundraiser for scout troops and packs in Dubois County.

Siebert earned his Eagle Scout rank in 1969. In the years following, he was an Explorer Scout troop leader, Lincoln Trail District chairman and a member of the Buffalo Trace Council Executive Committee. He has also served as a member of the Distinguished Citizen Award steering committee and as chairman of the Friends of Scouting Fund Drive Committee.

In addition to his work with scouts, Siebert has been a Junior Achievement Board member and advisor and a member of the Jasper Jaycees, Knights of Columbus and the Jasper Moose Lodge. He was a charter member of the Optimist Club of Jasper, Dubois County Sportsmen Club and Redevelop Old Jasper Action Coalition.

There’s more. Siebert has also served as president of both the Jasper Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Jasper Downtown Business Association. He has been chairman of the Memorial Hospital Gala Committee, a member of the Dubois County Community Foundation Endowment Development Committee and he served on the Holy Family School Board.

Speakers reflected on Jim’s friendly and outgoing personality throughout the award banquet while also ribbing on funny memories they’d shared with him over the years. His longtime friend, George Kuper, said in his speech that Siebert’s friendship helped set him on a better path in life. Kuper’s mother often told him when he was younger and fell short that he should try to be more like Siebert.

“After all these years, I’m going to finally admit it,” Kuper said. “My mom was right. We should all be more like Jim Siebert.”

In his free time, Siebert enjoys spending time with his family, fishing, hunting and being outdoors.

He and Jane have been married for 44 years. They have four children: Andy, Ben, Jeff and Rachel. Siebert also has six siblings: Sandy, Mike, John, Mark, Joe and Ann.

Luke Zeller, former Notre Dame basketball and NBA player, was a special speaker at the banquet. A story about him is on Page 26.

Past winners of the Lincoln Heritage Distinguished Citizen Award

1993 — Herb Thyen

1994 — Gilbert Verkamp

1995 — Gervase Schwenk

1996 — Bob Menke

1997 — Dave Buehler

1998 — Dave Eckerle

1999 — Bob Ruckriegel and William Koch

2000 — Bob Siebert

2001 — J.P. Salb

2002 — Hugo Songer

2003 — Archbishop Daniel Buechlein

2004 — Doug Bawel

2005 — Hank Menke

2006 — Rich Forbes

2007 — John Chappell

2008 — Sister M. Adrian Davis

2009 — Mark Schroeder

2010 — Clem Lange

2011 — Mike Uebelhor

2012 — Scott Schwinghammer

2013 — Jim Thyen

2014 — Ray Snowden

2015 — Brenda Stallings

2016 — Ken Sendelweck

2017 — Ray Schwenk

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