James Martin Grace born: June 23, 1930 – Sioux Falls, South Dakota, died: February 5, 2019 in Jefferson, Iowa, age: 88 Years.
Mass of Resurrection was held Saturday, February 9, 2019 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Jefferson, Iowa.
Mass was celebrated by Fr. Jim Bruch of Ogden, Iowa. Readers: Lisa Grace and Chuck Dunlop. Eulogy: Connie Skinner. Music: How Great Thou Art, On Eagle’s Wings, Here I Am Lord. Recessional: When Irish Eyes Are Smiling. Sheilah Pound, Soloist and Lois Last Accompanist.
Interment with Military Rites at St. Joseph Cemetery, Jefferson.
James Grace (Jim) was born June 23, 1930, on a farm near Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He was the sixth son of a family of six boys and one girl. Surrounded by his children, on February 5, 2019, he died of a broken heart perpetuated by the loss of his beloved wife and first born granddaughter in 2018.
Jim completed 8th grade in a one-room school house and high school at Cathedral High in Sioux Falls, SD. He started working at a very early age on a potato farm and crop co-op. In addition, as a younger student, he did work for area farmers during WWII, as well as, Muller and Rourke Ice and Coal Company during high school. As a young adult, Jim, was employed by Milwaukee Railroad as a switchman in 1948. In 1957, Jim graduated from the University of South Dakota with a BA degree.
Jim proudly served in the United States Army. He was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant following officer candidate school at Ft. Benning, Georgia in 1951. He served 2 years with the 82nd Airborne Division in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. He retired as a Major with the Iowa National Guard in 1990. Jim had many important jobs throughout his career in management and retired from the working world as General Manager of Parker Industries, Jefferson, IA, in 1993. He served on the board of Genesis Development and Sheltered Workshop here in Jefferson, as well as an advisory board at Iowa State University, and was a member of the Elks Lodge for 47 years.
On November 1, 1952, Jim married Mary Ann Fischer at Ft Bragg, North Carolina. From this beautiful union came six children; Nancy Walker, Sharon (Chuck) Dunlop, James Daniel (Jim) (Lisa) Grace, Carol (David Moore) Grace, Colleen Grace, Connie (Terry) Skinner. Jim was the absolute best grandfather to Tyler (Kara), Michael (Cassie), Melissa (Mike), Sheana, Sarah, Karim, Cole, Daniel, Carson, KeAnna, Cooper and great grandchildren; Kya, Jude, Paige, Josie, Kylie, Autumn, Lilly, and Walker.
Jim and Mary Ann had a love that was beautiful and they were married for 65 years before Mary Ann’s death in January, 2018. They had many adventures and trips throughout their marriage visiting friends and family with their children. Some of the most memorable excursions were spent in his home town of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, visiting family. Those were some of the best times with loads of laughter, love and reminiscing.
Loyal, Committed, Caring and Christ loving; He was the perfect picture of loyalty. Beautiful, long and loving marriage to his girl. He was absolutely committed to his wife, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, church, and employer. He attended many sporting events for his children and grandchildren with words of encouragement and loads of support. He served the Lord in many ways; altar boy, lector and longtime parish member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. He was committed to the Lord and did all he could in the way of prayer and kindness to help pave his way to see the Lord’s face. Jim was one of the gentlest, caring men you would ever meet and made all feel like family. He still had his best friends from Cathedral High and made every effort to meet annually to re-live the good ole’ days with his pals, Pooch, Bosco and many others.
Jim had a loving childhood and was blessed to share his life with five brothers and one sister. Grateful for having shared his life with his remaining sibling, Mary and her husband, Cecil Provence of Victoria, Minnesota, sisters-in-law, Pat Wehrkamp, Beverly Fischer, Terry Fischer and brother-in-law, Don Fischer and wife Janice; many nieces and nephews and a host of other relatives and friends.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, George and Josephine (Clennon) Grace; 5 brothers, George, Gerald, Eugene (Gene), John (Jack), Francis, his loving wife, Mary Ann, granddaughter, Sheana, grandsons, Todd, Michael and Matthew, great grandson, Brently, many brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces and a nephew.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in Jim’s name to Greater Iowa Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation http://www2.jdrf.org/goto/TeamTigers, The Epilepsy Foundation of Iowa https://www.epilepsyiowa.org/, or the American Heart Association. A special thanks to Molly, Lisa, and Kristina from Unity Point Hospice for the incredible guidance, care and support to Jim and his children.
Slininger-Schroeder Funeral Home.