James "Jim" Edward Korth, at the age of 90, passed away peacefully on Tuesday afternoon, July 18, 2017, lovingly surrounded by family members in North Mankato.
Visitation will be held from 4-6pm, Monday, July 24, 2017, at Northview ~ North Mankato Mortuary with a prayer service at 6pm. Funeral Mass will be 11am, Tuesday, July 25, 2017, at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church with visitation one hour prior to the service. Burial will follow at Pilgrim's Rest Cemetery in Mankato. Please share a memory of Jim with his family online at www.mankatomortuary.com.
Memorials are preferred and will be used to create a scholarship for a Loyola student.
Jim was born on May 13, 1927, in Sleepy Eye to Lawrence and Gertrude (Corey) Korth. He attended Loyola High School, where he developed a reputation as one of the state's greatest athletes. He led his basketball teams to back-to-back state championships and became the first member of the now prestigious "1,000 point club." He finished his high school career as the state's all-time leading scorer. Upon graduating in 1945, he attended the University of Notre Dame on scholarship and played on the football and basketball teams. He then transferred back to Mankato State and graduated while also starring on the football and basketball teams. He was later inducted into their Hall of Fame.
On January 22, 1950, Jim married Marilyn Jean Steiner in Mankato. Together, they raised six children.
Jim began his teaching and coaching career at Janesville High School. After four years, he moved to Waseca Sacred Heart for a two-year stint. The call from his alma mater came in 1957, and he never looked back. He taught History and Physical Education while coaching football, basketball, track, and some baseball. As a coach, he always helped the underdog and helped them reach their greatest potential. His sense of humor showed as he was quoted in the Mankato Free Press, saying, "I needed some new clothes, so I played his kid. Or I need some doctoring, so I played his kid. I don't want to be audited, so I played his kid. I don't want to be sued, so I played his kid." During his 38+ years as a coach, his proudest moment was never missing a game because of an illness. Jim also served as the Athletic Director for several years.
Jim loved telling stories and making people laugh. Many past students and athletes fondly recall running up Main Street Hill as Jim waited for them in his green Chevy at the top. He also enjoyed tinkering around the house and spending time with his wife and family members. Jim will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his loving wife, Marilyn, of 67 years; five children, Kathryn Vaughan of Mankato, Bruce (Marsha) Korth of Cottage Grove, Julie Barnum of Inver Grove Heights, Jan (Keith) Kramer of North Mankato, and Sharon (Duane) Schwartz of Plymouth; 15 grandchildren; and many, many great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Agnes Bayerl and Sr. Laureen Korth; brother, Francis Korth; infant brother, Joseph; and son, Gregory Korth.
Published on July 21, 2017