James Edward Justin was born on June 19, 1930 in St. Cloud, Minnesota to the late Frances Nicholas and Bernadine Mae (Larson) Justin. James joined the National Guard and attended St. Cloud Technical High School. James married LaVerne Zenner at St. Mary’s Cathedral Church in St. Cloud on September 23, 1953. They later divorced in 1981. They had 5 children named Joel, Patrick, Michael, Joleen and Jimmy.
Jim experienced great joy when he was with his children and grandchildren. He followed their activities as they grew playing football, hockey, baseball, basketball, softball, golf, soccer and other activities including marching band and concerts at Cathedral High School, St. Cloud. He was a doting grandpa.
James was employed at St. Regis Paper Mill as a millwright in Sartell, MN until retirement. He was the oldest of 14 children; a large, loving family, that still celebrates every 3 years with a ruckus family reunion, including a talent show, competitive games and a memorial service. Jim was a great gardener, sharing his produce (apples, cucumbers and tomatoes) with family and friends. He was an avid Twins and Vikings fan but what he loved most was fishing on the pontoon or off the dock and having a bonfire with his family where sometimes, at rare moments, he could even be heard singing.
Jim resided in Mesa, Arizona for the winters with his companion of 20 years, Irene Lewis, and they spent the summers together at his cabin on East Battle Lake, near Vining, Minnesota. On October 3, 2018 Jim passed away unexpectedly at Irene’s Pelican Rapids’ home in her loving arms. Jim had a great sense of humor. He will be dearly missed by his family and friends. Preceding Jim in death were his parents and siblings: Rose Ann; Daniel and Leroy.
Jim is survived by his 5 children: Joel (Karin) Justin of Faribault; Patrick (Pamela Kennedy) Justin of Faribault; Michael (Judy) Justin of Brooklyn Park; Joleen (Bruce) Slinden of Maple Grove; James Justin Jr. of St. Cloud; 9 grandchildren: Benjamin, Timothy, Madeline, Richard, Rachel, Caleb, Janel, Ava and Trent; 5 great-grandchildren: Maya, Charlize, Peter, Alexander, and Andrew; siblings: Madeline, Rita, Philip, Francis “Frankie”, David, Nancy, Bernadine “Bunny”, Charles “Chuck”, Gary and Denise.
Memorials for Jim can be sent to family members.