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OBIT-James Kjar

20140725 james-kjar obitPIERRE, SD – James “Jim’ Kjar, 86, of Pierre, passed away on July 18, 2014.

Visitation was held on Monday, July 21, 2014, at Feigum Funeral Home in Pierre, South Dakota, from 5 to 7 p.m. followed by a prayer service at 7 pm. A funeral service will be at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at Lutheran Memorial Church

The life story of Jim began on July 15, 1928, in Pierre, South Dakota, as the eldest son of Andrew and Beata (Munsch) Kjar. Jim spent his entire life in Pierre. He was baptized and confirmed at Lutheran Memorial Church. In 1947, he graduated from Pierre High School. He grew into a man that found little to complain about, found joy in helping others, and found humor in everything, enough to share and pass around in heaping helpings.

Jim was a Korean War veteran, serving with the 196th Regimental Combat Team in Colorado and Alaska from 1950 to 1952. During leave from the Army, Jim married Cheryl Jean Jackson on November 26, 1951, at Lutheran Memorial Church. To this union, two children were born, Craig and Cathy.

Jim worked his whole life as an electrician. From 1952 to 1971, he worked alongside his father at K&L Electric. Following the sale of that business, he worked for Ferding Electric until he was hired on as part of the Buildings and Grounds staff at the State Capitol in 1975. Jim worked as an electrician on the capitol building during the renovations for South Dakota’s 1989 Centennial Celebration. He also wired the lights that now grace the Hilgar’s Gulch Park.

In 1990, Jim retired to spend spring, summer, and fall fishing, camping, and boating near Pierre and in the Black Hills. He taught his grandson how to fish and water ski on the Missouri River. He taught his granddaughter how to play the card game, Horse, and to love eating at Zesto, his favorite after-dinner treat.

He and Cheryl enjoyed 23 winters in the warm clime of south Texas at Heritage Square in Mission. Weather forecasters could count on at least one significant snow before they left for Texas and one shortly after they returned.

Jim contributed in many ways to the community of Pierre, from being a multi-gallon blood donor to being a volunteer fireman with Engine 1 for 25 years. Jim was a member of the Germans From Russia organization. He also volunteered with RSVP until his health prevented him from participating.

Jim’s life story ended on July 18, 2014.

Jim is survived by his wife, Cheryl of Pierre; children Craig and Carol Kjar of Boise, Idaho and Cathy and Steve Schwafel of Rapid City, South Dakota; grandchildren, Andrea and Jensen Porter of Amarillo, Texas and DJ and Huike Kjar of Salem, Oregon; great-grandchild, Benjamin Kjar; siblings, Donna von Fischer of Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Ken Kjar of Rapid City, South Dakota.

He was preceded in death by his sister Karen.

Memorials may be directed to Lutheran Memorial Church or Avera St. Mary’s Foundation for the benefit of the Kidney Dialysis Unit.

Condolences may be conveyed to the family at

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