Written by: Jon Nelson, RSI Executive Director
We lost a long-time member of the RSI family when Jim Houle passed away on August 20, 2022. Jim was currently serving on the RSI board as Vice President. This was his 19th year on our board.
Jim spent many of his years with RSI as the President of our Board of Directors. He was passionate about RSI’s mission, and he loved to be engaged and see the impact RSI had on the lives of the people we support. Over the years, he had visited every RSI home. He enjoyed visiting and seeing how the decisions the board made affected RSI employees and the people living in the homes. These visits helped strengthen Jim’s advocacy for our services.
It is not by chance the RSI board is so strongly driven by mission and focused on the employees who provide RSI services. Jim’s leadership over the past two decades helped create this focus. Part of his legacy is the board practice of providing year-end bonuses to staff whenever possible. Jim always wanted RSI employees to know the board appreciates their work and understands the challenges of our work.
Jim was also key to starting the practice of having people RSI supports speak at the annual board meeting each year. He loved to hear their stories about the impact RSI had on their lives. He was very proud of all of us, the RSI employees, and thankful to be part of carrying out RSI’s mission.
Jim’s leadership and support on the board was a critical part of RSI’s growth over the past 20 years. He was part of expanding the mission to serving people with mental illness and expanding RSI services beyond St. Louis County. During his tenure, RSI more than tripled in size. This growth in services and people served is another big part of the legacy Jim leaves behind at RSI.
Jim did not want to have a funeral service. His family is honoring his wish. There may be a celebration of his life event planned for the near future. Please keep Jim’s family in your thoughts as they grieve his loss.