James J. Oelke, 64
Blue Earth — James J. Oelke, age 64, of Blue Earth, died June 28, 2009, at St. Mary’s Hospital, Rochester. Funeral services were held July 2, 2009, at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Blue Earth. Rev. Mark McNea officiated. Burial was in Calvary Cemetery, Blue Earth. Patton Funeral Home and Cremation Service was in charge of arrangements.
Jim was born Nov. 17, 1944, in Blue Earth, the son of John and Charlotte (Bulfer) Oelke. He was raised and educated in Blue Earth where he was a 1963 graduate of Blue Earth High School. Following school he farmed southeast of Blue Earth and near Fairmont. He was married to Debra S. Shivers on Nov. 29, 1975 in Blue Earth. They continued to farm until he began to work for the Blue Earth Farmers Elevator in the mid 1980’s. Jim continued to work at the elevator, now Watonwan Farm Service, Co., in various capacities, including as a fuel delivery trucker, for many years, retiring just this summer. Jim was a longtime member of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church where he was a longtime usher and active in the Knights of Columbus. He was also a member of the Blue Earth Snow Rovers and helped construct their meeting house. He enjoyed spending the past 10 summers living at Dawson’s Camp Ground where he spent a lot of his time giving four-wheeler rides to the local kids, watching old western’s on TV, and catching the Twins and Vikings games. One of his favorite hobbies was building and restoring models of John Deere tractors. He especially enjoyed time with his family and fishing and hunting with his children.
Jim is survived by his wife, Debra Oelke of Blue Earth, his sons, Jamie (Jennifer) Oelke and their daughter, Madison of Winnebago, and Jeffrey (Maria) Oelke of Indianapolis, Ind., his brother, Robert (Beth) Oelke of Bemidji, his brother-in-law, Johnny Shivers of Dayton, Ohio, his sister-in-law, Carolyn Minnich of Dayton, his nephews, Michael and Thomas Oelke and many cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Charlotte (Bulfer) Oelke.
Web tributes may be left at www.pattonfh.com