James Howard Wilcox, 88, passed away Tuesday, April 1, 2014, at the Garrison Memorial Hospital. Funeral services will be held Saturday, April 5, at 10:30 a.m., at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Garrison. Burial will follow at St. Nicholas Catholic Cemetery. A rosary will be said today at 5:30 p.m. at the church. Visitation will be today from noon to 4 p.m., at Thompson Funeral Home in Garrison.
Jim was born in the homestead family farmhouse on Feb. 28, 1926, to Ira and Harriet Wilcox. He married Irene Kerzman in the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Bismarck on Nov. 19, 1947. They lived on the family homestead near Garrison until 1988, when they moved into the town of Garrison. Eight children were born to this union.
He raised registered Herford cattle from 1961 to 1980, and farmed until he was 82 years old. Jim was well known through his cattle buying, which he did for about 30 years. In his younger years, he helped organize the Rural Fire District of Garrison in 1953. He was vice-chairman and later chairman for many years. In 1960, he joined the Knights of Columbus, where he held several offices and his family was awarded "Family of the Year."
Jim enjoyed playing the accordion, piano and the harmonica. He played with the "Jammers" for a number of years. He was also a member of the Norsk Hostfest Accordion Club.
In their retirement years, each winter Jim and Irene traveled by car through all 49 states. One summer they drove up the Alaskan Highway and crossed the Arctic Circle.
Survivors are: his wife of 66 years, Irene; sons, David (Jan), of Johnsburg, Ill., Michael (Pam), Gordon (Dori), and James (Deleene), all of the Garrison area; daughters include Susan Tefft and Patricia (Dale) Roehrich, all of Fargo, and Mary (Tim) Callis, of Dallas, Texas. He leaves 15 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
Preceding Jim in death were his parents; one brother, Gordon; four sisters, Lorraine Fischer, Ruth Benshoof, Orba Christianson and Irene Percich. He was also preceded by one infant daughter, Mary Jane; one infant granddaughter, Susan Kay Wilcox; and one infant great-grandson, Karson Welstad.
To sign the online register, go to (www.garrisonthompson.com).