John P. "Jack" Laimer, 68, one of Brainerd's most outgoing personalities, died Tuesday after a long struggle with cancer.
The Brainerd man was a motivational speaker and also worked with the golf operation at The Lakes at Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge.
Joe Simons, 58, of Crosby, worked with Laimer for about 13 years at Ruttger's. He said Laimer showed the same sort of enthusiasm and appetite for fun in one-on-one situations that was seen in his speeches.
Laimer traveled throughout the United States for some 30 years, addressing a variety of groups. He was widely sought after as master of ceremonies, billing himself as a "speaker, humorist and father of seven."
His speeches included stories about his family, a host of wholesome jokes and Laimer's trademark enthusiasm.
"If I had to describe Jack Laimer I'd say take Lou Holtz and multiply him by 10," Simons said today. "He never would use a swear word or told a dirty story...He was going to play it straight and do it the right way. He wasn't going to resort to something like that just to get a laugh."
Simons, a retired teacher who has worked part-time at Ruttger's for 45 years, said Laimer's presence made him look forward to going to work.
"When he'd start, 'Have you heard the one about...' we'd start laughing," Simons said.
His wife of 47 years, Majel Laimer said that while traveling earlier this year, her husband met Texas Gov. George W. Bush, but he was just as interested in people without important titles. She said he was sincerely interested in "the kid at the gas station or the girl who sold him doughnuts at Casey's"
In the 1960s Laimer was an executive with the Brainerd Chamber of Commerce and later worked with the area manufacturer of Scorpion snowmobiles.
"He was just a gem with people, Simons said. "He loved this area a lot. He loved the area and he loved the people of the area."
Arrangements are with the Nelson-Doran Funeral Home in Brainerd.
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