James Wesley “Jim” Janzen, age 73, of Delano, passed away Wednesday, July 22, 2015, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Jim was born Feb. 26, 1942, in Mountain Lake, MN, the third of eight children born to Walter and Helen (Henze) Janzen. He was baptized as an infant, and confirmed March 25, 1956, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Darfur, MN.
Jim grew up on the family farm, and graduated from Butterfield High School in 1960.
After graduation, he moved to the Hopkins area, where he started working as an auto body repairman. Jim met Peggy McIntire while working at Towns Edge Olds, and they were married Sept. 18, 1965.
The couple spent their first years in St. Louis Park, where their daughter, Lisa, and son, Jeff, were born. They moved their family to Delano in 1973, where Jim later purchased an auto body repair shop with his brother, Carl. Jim and Carl owned and operated Janzen Auto Body until 2013.
Jim was an active member of Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Delano, where he served in various roles. He was a longtime community leader, serving on the Delano Fourth of July Committee for 35 years, and acting as parade chairman for 12 years. Jim also served as the Chamber of Commerce president, a State Amateur Baseball Tournament director, and was currently a Delano Athletic Club officer. Recently, he was instrumental in the renovations at the city baseball park.
Jim and Peg have enjoyed spending the last seven years wintering in Mesa, AZ. Jim became a devoted water volleyball player and made countless new friends.
He was a kind, gentle, and compassionate man, and unconditionally loved everyone in his life, holding no ill will towards anyone. Jim was always the family’s “glass half full” person, and he will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.
Jim is survived by his wife of 50 years, Peggy; children Lisa Janzen of Bloomington, and Jeff and Melissa Janzen of Rockford; grandchildren Noah and Cade Andrews, Adrian Johannessen-Hawkins (Maipacher), Dominique Johannessen-Hawkins and fiancé Brair Zieman, and Ebony Johannessen-Hawkins; great-grandchildren Elijah, Ariel and Ezekiel Johannessen-Hawkins; two sisters, Arlene (Gerald) Hodapp and Sylvia (Scott) Norman; four brothers, Lawrence (Darlene), Eldon (JoAnn), Daniel (Janie), and Carl (Shari); and many other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Helen Janzen; a sister, Elaine Thorkelson; and sisters-in-law Linda Janzen and Karen Janzen.
Funeral services took place Sunday, July 26 at 2 p.m. at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Delano, with interment in East Mount Olive Cemetery, Delano.
There was visitation Saturday, July 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the church, and also Sunday from 1 to 2 p.m., prior to the service.
Arrangements were by the Iten Funeral Home in Delano.