James Eldon “Jim” Thode, 59, Pipestone, died Monday, Aug 15, 2016, at Avera Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
A funeral service was Friday, Aug. 19, 2016, at First Lutheran Church in Pipestone. Burial followed at Maplewood Cemetery in Luverne.
James Thode was born to Feb. 8, 1957, to Clarence and Evelyn (Swenson) Thode in Luverne. He was raised on a farm in Denver Township of Rock County, and he attended school in Luverne.
After his graduation from Luverne High School in 1975, he completed his education at Minnesota West Technical College in Pipestone. At that time, he started farming with his father. He also worked at A.R. Wood Manufacturing in Luverne for a number of years.
On Sept. 3, 1983, he married Gayl Willey at First Presbyterian Church in Pipestone. Following their marriage, they lived in Jasper, and Jim worked at Tri-State Silo in Jasper until it closed. Kermit Skorr took over, and he worked with him. In 1989 he began working at Bayliner Marine in Pipestone. He worked there until 1993 when he became a dedicated full-time farmer with the establishment of Bacon Valley Farms.
Jim was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Luverne in March 1957 and was confirmed there in October 1973. While living in Pipestone, he was a member of First Lutheran Church. He was also a Farm Bureau member and a member of the Texas Longhorn Association. He enjoyed bowling and fishing. He collected farm toys, and he had recently started collecting two-cylinder John Deere tractors. He enjoyed spending time having fun with his family and friends. He was dedicated to taking care of his land, his livestock and his garden.
He is survived by his wife, Gayl Thode, Pipestone; his children, Michael (Jennifer) Thode, Mark Thode, Laura Thode, and Krista (special friend Tylan) Thode, all of Pipestone; and Josh Hellwinckel, whom he thought of as his third son; his grandson, Connor; his mother, Evelyn Thode, Luverne; his siblings, Gerald (Mary) Thode, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Pam Schmidt, Tea, South Dakota, Joyce (Larry Mulvihill) Thode, Luverne, and Brian (Rita) Thode, Jasper; and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father; his parents-in-law, Kenneth and Jylan Willey; his brothers-in-law Johnny Schmidt and Alan Willey; and his nephew, Mathew Thode.
Arrangements were by Hartquist Funeral Home of Pipestone, www.hartquistfuneral.com.