James "Jim"'s Story

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James "Jim" Ralph Blanshan, age 90, died peacefully surrounded by his family on Saturday, September 16, at Koda Living Community in Owatonna, Mn. Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m. with visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, September 23, at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Owatonna, Rev. Kirk Griebel officiating. Internment will be at Woodland Hills Cemetery, Mankato, Mn at 3:30 p.m. with military honors provided by the Mankato Area Veterans Memorial Squad.
Jim was born on July 16, 1927 to Ralph and Fern (Pearson) Blanshan in Mankato, Mn. He attended school in Mankato and at the age of 12 began working to help support the family. At age 17 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was a member of the Seabees stationed in Guam. Jim was honorably discharged in 1945 and returned to Mankato where he met his wife, Florence H. Stolt, They were married on August 6, 1950 and were blessed to have 67 years together. Jim was employed at Continental Can Company for 34 years, retiring in 1990 to enjoy winters in Texas around the McAllen area. In 1998 he moved to Eyota, MN and lived there until 2008 when he moved to Owatonna. Jim was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 1997 and with the help of his loving wife continued his active and busy life until having to move first to Cedarview Nursing Home and then to the new Koda Living Community, both of Owatonna. Jim received wonderful and loving care from so many during his long fight with Parkinson's including Tony Jurowski, and the staffs of Koda and Heartland Hospice.
Jim liked to camp, fish and hunt with family and friends. He also enjoyed woodworking, bicycling, helping others with home maintenance repairs and singing, especially hymns.
Jim is survived by his wife, Florence, and children Marsha (Bruce) Korth of Cottage Grove, Tracy (LuAnn) Blanshan of Eyota, Janda (Del) Pitan of Owatonna, Kris (Tom) Elbert of Lake Havasu, Az and Mickey (Joe) Merchant of Cleveland, 12 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, brothers: Garry of Mankato, Al (Bonnie) of Belle Plaine, sister, Sandy Mulvehill of St. Peter and many nieces and nephews.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, sister Donna Jean Yokiel, brothers Robert, Harvey and Dwayne (in infancy) and granddaughter-in-law Kelly Pitan.
Published on September 18, 2017
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