In Loving Memory

James Russell Vierus

James Russell Vierus
September 14, 1956
September 28, 2018
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James Vierus, 62, of Washington, Texas passed away Friday, September 28, 2018.

Visitation with the family will be held Sunday, September 30th from 5 until 7 p.m. at Brenham Memorial Chapel.

A memorial service will be held Monday, October 1st at 4 p.m. at Abiding Word Lutheran Church with Pastors Martin Moore and Tim Webb officiating.

James Russell Vierus was born in Brenham on September 14, 1956, to parents Ernst Hermann and Gladys (Weiss) Vierus. He was baptized November 18, 1956 and confirmed April 14, 1971, both at Eben-Ezer Lutheran Church of Berlin. He was a 1975 graduate of Brenham High School, a 1977 graduate of Blinn College, and a class of 1984 Fightin’ Texas Aggie. On May 19, 1979, James married his high school sweetheart, Sue Hartstack, at Friedens United Church of Christ in Washington.

James worked several jobs before embarking on a 30+ year career as a computer programmer at Blue Bell Creameries. His time there fostered many close friendships and provided great challenges in which he could showcase his great skill and ingenuity. James was known by many as “the guru” and his efficient code and slick user interfaces can still be found throughout Blue Bell today.

Despite his technical prowess, James led a simple, low-tech life at home. Computers were traded for chainsaws and lawnmowers, and code optimization took a backseat to that of the lawn or his vegetable garden. Innovation was reserved mostly for new recipes, and the only wireless connections that mattered were a clear, strong reception of the Michael Berry show or of Polka Time on Saturday mornings.

James cultivated a deep love for sports and the outdoors through his father and friends. He passed this love and wisdom on to his children and reveled in their own successes in the woods, waters, and sports fields. Impromptu hunting expeditions, fishing trips, and backyard baseball games were common occurrence, and victories in any arena lived on for many years in the form of tall tales or elaborate stories.

James was a careful purveyor of eclectic décor and other oddities. These exhibits were on full display in a backyard shed known as “The Smokehouse” which he developed into a sanctuary of music, BBQ, entertaining, stories, and deep conversations. As he filled its walls, The Smokehouse increasingly began to resemble James as a person; fiercely independent, and welcoming of all.

Paramount to all earthly pursuits was James’ belief in Jesus Christ. He worked hard to set an example of faith for his family, teaching children’s Sunday School, serving on church councils, and later joining the The Gideons International. He found a spiritual home at Abiding Word Lutheran Church, and treasured the relationships and teachings he experienced there.

James is survived by: wife, Sue Vierus; their children, Luke Vierus and wife Lindsey of Richardson, Sarah Montes and husband Enrique of Brenham, John Vierus of Houston; brother Clyde and wife Heather Vierus; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Lin and Gerry Hartstack, and Gary and Bonnie Hartstack; and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and friends.

James was preceded in death by his parents.

If desired, a donation in James’ memory may be made to Abiding Word Lutheran Church or The Gideons International.

Services are in the care of Brenham Memorial Chapel, 2300 Stringer St., Brenham, TX 77833. 979.836.3611 Tributes may be shared at