James Martinson, 64

James Craig Martinson, age 64, of Cokato, passed away Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020.

There will be a period of visitation at Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home of Cokato Tuesday, Jan. 5 from 4 to 8 p.m.

Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home of Cokato is handling the arrangements, 320-286-2534.

James was born in Litchfield, Jan. 6, 1956, to Arnold and Pauline (Clements) Martinson. He attended Elim Mission Church.

While in school, Jim was active in 4-H, Boy Scouts, and various sports. He graduated from Dassel-Cokato High School in 1974. He attended some classes at Northwestern Bible College, and then went on to Hutchinson Vocational Technical College and studied automotive.

Jim married his high school sweetheart, Debra (Berg), at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Dassel, Nov. 3, 1979. They settled just south of Cokato and made it their lifelong home. The union was blessed with three children, Jimmy, Jessica, and Joey.

Jim worked for Moberg Motors as an auto mechanic for several years. He spent 32 years working for the family business, Martinson Construction. Afterwards, he worked a variety of jobs, including driving bus for Dassel-Cokato Schools, which he really enjoyed.

He worked hard being a public servant. He served on the Cokato Fire Department for 30 years, and the Cokato Ambulance for several of those years. He achieved many ranks in the fire department, retiring as a captain. One of his greatest joys was serving on the department with his eldest son, Jimmy. He was also a lifetime volunteer at the Cokato Corn Carnival.

Jim was a general handyman, loved auto mechanics, classic cars, auto body, race cars, woodworking, and collecting baseball memorabilia.

He loved to spend time with his family and grandchildren. Jim always loved time spent at the family cabin in Effie, MN; fishing and swimming with the kids and grandchildren. He loved heading to car swap meets with the crew.

Jim always loved a good breakfast at the DQ or Northwood’s Inn. He always loved family vacations spent in Arizona and Duluth.

Jim fought a difficult battle with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. He first started showing symptoms in 2014, and his health gradually deteriorated, before receiving a lung transplant in 2017. Though his health went back-and-forth afterwards, Jim was grateful for the additional time he was able to spend with his friends and family.

Jim is survived by his wife, Debbie; three children, Jimmy (Janell) Martinson of Cokato, Jessica (Austin) Engelsmeier of Brownton, Joey Martinson (Shawna) of Monticello; seven grandchildren, Easton, Emma, Addison, Ellie, Gracelyn, Abram, Callan; two brothers, John (Kristie) Martinson, Bruce (Shelley) Martinson; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

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