James Robert Pilgrim, Sr. was born June 20, 1934, on the family farm, to Robert and Berniece (Horn) Pilgrim. He attended country school in Verndale, District #8. On February 14, 1953, Jim was united in marriage to Marlis Harvego in Wadena, MN and they were blessed with three children: Pamela, James Jr. and Paula.
Mr. Pilgrim worked many years as a truck driver for Cenex out of Wadena and Inver Grove Heights. He was admitted to a lifetime membership in the Million Mile Club of the National Safety Council in 1981. After retirement he continued to work in the local potato harvest and mowing fairways at the Vintage Golf Course in Staples, MN. He was also a member of the United Methodist Church in Wadena.
He enjoyed early morning coffee with friends, hunting, working in the woods and in his garden. Jim loved spending time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He especially liked hearing a semi honk its horn while passing the house. Preceded in death by his parents; and daughter Pamela Whelan.
Left to cherish his memories are his wife of 65 years, Marlis Pilgrim of Wadena; son James Pilgrim Jr. of Verndale; daughter Paula (Dan) Olson of Farmington; sister Judy (Ken) Broker of Verndale; 5 grandchildren: Heather (Rick) Ehrman of Chanhassen; CJ Sackett of Farmington; Kelly (Adam) Nourie of Farmington; Jamie (Adam) Powers of Otsego; and Stephanie (Wes) Alseth of Elk River; 10 great-grandchildren: Harrison Ehrman, Caiden Ehrman, Remington Ehrman, Joshua Sackett, Brody Ehrman, Jordan Sackett, Jackson Nourie, Allison Nourie, Logan Powers, and Easton Alseth; niece Stephanie Anderson of Verndale; many other relatives and a host of friends.
The family would like to thank Knute Nelson Hospice, Nurse Nicole, Dr. Pate, Tri-County Health Care and all their staff.