James Stephens, 88, Garrison, died on Sunday, Jan. 13, at a Garrison hospital. Memorial services will be held on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, at 11 a.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Garrison. Burial will be at the Garrison City Cemetery.
James R. Stephens was born Oct. 16, 1924, in Garrison, to Elmer G. and Cecelia (Maiden Name) Stephens. He was raised and educated in Garrison, graduating from Garrison High School in 1942. He then attended the University of North Dakota.
Jim was called to active duty in the Army Air Force July 3, 1943. He served in India, Burma, and China in the 10th Air Force. He was discharged at Fort Lewis, Wash., on Jan. 13, 1946. with the rank of sergeant.
After his time in the service, Jim resumed his education and graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1950. While in school in Grand Forks he met his future wife, Sylvia Grina. They were married on Aug. 22, 1950, and the couple returned to Garrison with stepdaughter, Diane, to enter into the retail lumber business with his father. Together they started another lumber company in New Town.
During his time in the lumber business, Jim was a director and treasurer in the North Dakota Lumbermen's Association. After his father's death, he managed both lumber companies until they were sold, and he retired in 1979. Jim was a part of a number of business ventures. He and Dennis Thompson purchased Jack Monument Company in Minot, which was later sold. He was also a partner in Quinco Apartments, the Garrison Nursing Home, and the Garrison Motel.
Jim was an active person in the Garrison community. He was on the city council and was also Boss of the Year in 1971. He played a critical role in establishing the North Dakota Governors Walleye Derby. He was an avid fisherman, hunter, golfer and all-around outdoorsman. In his early years he was active in sports, and helped McClusky win the state amateur baseball tournament in 1948. He was also a member of the American Legion, Masonic Lodge, the National Guard and St. Paul Lutheran Church in Garrison.
Jim is survived by: his wife, Sylvia, Garrison; and stepdaughter, Diane Stephens, Rapid City, S.D.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
To sign the online register go to (www.garrisonthompson.com).
(Thompson Funeral Home, Garrison)