Cover photo for Gary James's Obituary
Gary James Profile Photo
1941 Gary 2022

Gary James

March 5, 1941 — July 31, 2022

River Falls

Passed away peacefully July 31, 2022 at his home with the comfort of family by his side.

Born in St Paul MN on March 5, 1941 to Fern and Cyril James, he attended Monroe High School, graduating in 1959.  He went on to Mankato State on a football scholarship.  In June, 2022, Gary was honored to be inducted into the Monroe Sports Hall of Fame.

In 1964, he married Barbara McBain and was blessed with two children, Tracy and Troy. He began his sales career working at Advance Stamp.

In 1978, Gary, Elaine Lucking and Jim Stute, started James and Co.  Jim ran the warehouse, Elaine handled admin and Gary was in sales. Gary always said James Group was successful because of their commitment to understand the customers successes and challenges. He loved calling on customers and the friendships he created through his work.  He retired in 2005.

On January 1, 1999, he married Denice Haala.  They loved their life on the St Croix River, hosting many parties and family gatherings.  Gary would never miss the chance for an evening cocktail hour at his command center.  He was the life of the party, family and friends were always entertained by his stories.  Although he was a teaser, he was a real softie inside for his kids and grandkids.

Gary was an avid outdoorsman…he loved to hunt, deer or pheasant…grouse if he was quick enough! He loved fishing the great lakes with friends and family. He enjoyed spending time at their cabin in Lugerville, WI, and campfires with the kids and grandkids at Solberg Lake.  He also looked forward to his annual deer hunt with the Bogdanovics and pheasant hunting with Lovell Baker in South Dakota.

Gary will be greatly missed by his wife, Denice; daughter, Tracy (Tom) Stute; son, Troy (Rachel) James; stepson, Shawn (Joana) Haala; grandchildren, Ryan and Leah Stute, Mason and Grace James and Cecilia Haala; siblings, Judy (Mike) Luty, Sherry Klande (Frank Yaquinto), Terri Dahl, Mary (David) Farmer, Lynn (Joan) Rowland; many nieces and nephews, the Bogdanovic family, and many great friends. He was preceded in death by mother, Fern E. Whaley; father, Cyril James; sister, Claudia Willkom; brother, Mike James; and former wife, Barbara James.

Please join us for a Celebration of Gary’s Life on Friday August 19, 2022 Open House 1pm – 4 pm at DeGidio’s Restaurant, St. Paul, MN.

His family is deeply appreciative to Allina Hospice for their heartfelt care.

In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to The West 7th St Boys Club.

To all of you who loved and knew Gary, he says:

“Keep Going, Don’t Stop” and AMF….

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gary James, please visit our flower store.


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