The funeral service for James “Jim” Elton, Sr., 85, a longtime Stewartville, MN resident, will be at 11:00 A.M. on Friday (August 13, 2021) at Zion Lutheran Church in Stewartville with Rev. Susan Li officiating. Burial with military graveside honors by Stewartville American Legion Post 164 will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery in Stewartville. Mr. Elton died on Friday (August 6, 2021) of natural causes at Mayo Clinic Rochester – Methodist Campus.
James Arden Elton was born on May 7, 1936 in Preston, MN to Adolph “Duffy” and Evelyn (Olson) Elton. He grew up on the family farm in Hutton, MN, and attended country and Harmony schools, graduating from Harmony High School in 1954. Following high school, he was employed at the Preston Creamery. In 1955, Jim enlisted into the U.S. Army, served two years, and met fellow soldier, Irene Hertrampf, while they were both stationed at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO. Jim and Irene were married on February 23, 1957 at Ft. Leonard Wood. Following their discharges, the couple returned to Harmony and Jim began his employment at IBM in Rochester. The Eltons moved to Stewartville in 1958 where they raised their children and continued to make their home. Jim had a 34-year career at IBM, retiring in 1991. Irene was a homemaker who also owned and operated the Downtown Used-a-Bit store for a number of years and was later employed at Snyder Drug in Stewartville.
Jim was confirmed at and a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Big Spring, and was also a longtime member of Zion Lutheran Church in Stewartville where he served as an usher. He was a member of the Stewartville American Legion Post 164 and a past member of the Quarter Century Club at IBM. He was an avid league bowler, enjoyed playing cards, and followed Stewartville sports, the Vikings, and the Twins. He owned a 1937 John Deere B tractor that he would drive in the annual Stewartville Fourth of July parade. He had an active sense of humor and wasn’t above a practical joke or two. He enjoyed visiting with friends and neighbors and loved time spent with family, especially his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Jim is survived by his wife of 64 years – Irene; 1 daughter and 4 sons – James “Slim” (Mary) of rural Stewartville, MN; Patricia (Rick) Laber of Stewartville; Rocky (Cheryl) of Stewartville; Timothy (Fyllis) of Medway, MA, and Richard “Ricky” of Stewartville; 8 grandchildren – Elizabeth (Fred) Baumberger; Peter Elton; Brittaney (Trevor) Kispert; Samantha Elton; Sabrina Elton; Sophia Elton; Bailey Arneson; and Grace Elton; 2 great grandchildren – Vera Baumberger and Abigail Kispert; 1 brother – Curtis (Janice) Elton of Harmony, MN; 1 sister-in-law – Judi Elton of Harmony, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, 2 sisters – Shirley Kraling and Francis Daniels, and 3 brothers – Duane Elton, Carlyle Elton, and Jerry Elton.
A time of visitation for family and friends will be held from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. on Thursday (August 12, 2021) at Zion Lutheran Church in Stewartville and 1 hour prior to the service at the church on Friday morning. A livestream of Jim’s service is available on Zion Lutheran’s website after 10:30 A.M. on Friday (8/13). Arrangements are with Griffin-Gray Funeral Home in Stewartville. Condolences and memories of Jim are welcome at www.griffin-gray.com.
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