BLUE EARTH — James Firkins, age 88, passed away Thursday Sept. 13, 2018, at Lakeview Methodist Health Care Center in Fairmont. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 17, 2018, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Blue Earth, with visitation one hour prior to services. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery. Online condolences can be left at www.pattonfh.com
James D. Firkins was born March 2, 1930, in Corning, Iowa, to Dean and Crystal (Sunderman) Firkins. He attended country school and graduated from Corning High School in 1947, and Iowa State College in Ames, Iowa, in 1951 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Farm Operation.
He was employed in 1951 by Minnesota Valley Canning Company, which became Green Giant, and transferred to the Blue Earth plant in 1960. He started Firkins Real Estate in 1963 and was instrumental in Blue Earth’s retail and industrial development until he retired in 2001.
He was a member of the Blue Earth Planning Commission and served 20 years on the Industrial Board, promoting the city and Faribault County. Jim had a great love for Blue Earth and the surrounding area. He had foresight and vision for development of the city’s belt line, downtown and the I-90/Hwy 169 area. In 2000, he was presented with the Community Service Award recognizing him for his contributions.
Jim married Ramona Vore in September 1950 and they were blessed with four children, nine grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. Most important to him was his love of God and family. Spending time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren brought tremendous joy to his life.
Jim was a longtime member of Trinity Lutheran Church where he had ushered, been a trustee and taught Release Time. He shared his faith through testimony, leading prayer and singing hymns. He helped start the local Christian radio station and Men’s Brotherhood group.
He served on the boards of Chain of Lakes Halfway House and Sunrise Treatment Center. He was passionately dedicated to supporting people in recovery from drugs and alcohol, recognizing the importance of such support in his own recovery and sobriety.
He resided at Lakeview Methodist Home in Fairmont for the last 19 months where he made many friends and greatly enjoyed all the group activities, card playing and games. He had a fondness for all types of music, instilled by his mother at an early age, and had a special love for traditional hymns, especially sung by Alan Jackson.
Jim is survived by his sons, Bruce (Debra Skogen) of Bloomington, Steve (Amy Willette) of St. Peter; daughters, Nancy (Steve Smith) of Blue Earth, Diane (Wayne Johanns) of Jacksonville, Fla.; grandchildren, Rick (Leslie), Teri, Ezra (Beth), Kelly (Pawel), Mike, Lee (Beth), Shawn (Rachelle), Jenni (Adam), Sara; his great-grandchildren; and his brother, Norman of Omaha, Neb.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Ramona; and his parents, Dean and Crystal.
The family suggests memorials be directed to Trinity Lutheran Church, Lakeview Methodist Home, UHD Hospice, or any other worthy cause.