James Alfred Parker

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Memories & Candles


1 of 10 | Posted by: Terry Roos - Richfield, MN

“I enoyed getting to know Jim over the past several years in our Walker Church Meditation Group and at Community Meals and other gatherings. He was...Read More »
2 of 10 | Posted by: Jennifer Gahnstrom - Minneapolis, MN

“I got to know Jim Parker when he moved to live with his daughter Mary about four years ago. I liked him right away and he reminded me a lot of my...Read More »
3 of 10 | Posted by: tony wentersdorf - Minneapolis, MN

“You are in my prayers Mary,Tim and family. God Bless you. ”
4 of 10 | Posted by: Steve Reemts - Sioux Falls, SD

“I don't know what I did to deserve to have Jim and Marilynn as members of St. John's UCC in La Crosse for all the years I served there (1989 to 2003)...Read More »
5 of 10 | Posted by: Donald Fox - La Crosse, WI

“Jim was the pastor of our church in Delano MN when I was growing up. It was during his ministry that I realized that church could actually be...Read More »
6 of 10 | Posted by: Jane Hayes (Amundson) - Delano, MN

“Uncle Jim was always willing to spend time and visit with us from the time we were young children through adulthood. I am a niece - it was always...Read More »
7 of 10 | Posted by: Gay Dempsey - Sioux Falls, SD

“I have memories of Jim Parker and his family from long long ago, when they lived down the street from us in Delano. I knew his daughter Eve, who was...Read More »
8 of 10 | Posted by: Bob Amundson - Groveland, FL

“My husband, Wally and I enjoyed many special times with Jim at his daughter, Mary's house. At their New Years parties, Jim and Mary always included...Read More »
9 of 10 | Posted by: Sally Kuehn - Minneapolis, MN

“That is among the most touching obituaries I have read. I am happy to have enjoyed many of his Mimi-sermons during our circles over the past several...Read More »
10 of 10 | Posted by: Douglas Rosenquiat - Minneapolis, MN


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Jim was born April 22, 1927 in Minneapolis to Esther and Alfred Parker. The family moved to Cumberland, Wi. where Jim lived until he entered the army at 18. After his military service he attended Augsburg College in Minneapolis. At Augsburg he got involved in acting in school plays. It was in one of these performances that he met Marilynn Halvorson. They were married in 1949, until Marilynn's death in 2013. They had 4 children, Dave, Mary, Tim and Eve.

Jim was a pastor in the United Church of Christ for most of his career. He served churches in small towns in Minnesota, South Dakota and Iowa. In the late 60's he took a break from pastoral work to get a Masters in English Literature and to teach at Sioux Falls College. After several years teaching, he returned to the ministry until his retirement. Jim and Marilynn retired to Trempealeau, Wi. where they lived a happy and simple life for many years.

Despite his life-long struggle with anxiety and depression, Jim was a kind and creative person. He was guided by Albert Schweitzer's philosophy of Reverence for Life. At one point he found a beam in the house that was infested with carpenter ants. Rather than kill the ants, he removed the infested beam, took it to the woods where he found a fallen tree and left the ants there. His creativity will be remembered by many who enjoyed his Children's Sermons featuring fantastic chalk illustrations. And his family always enjoyed the illustrations he would add to letters and cards. He was a funny guy with a talent for wild stories.

Jim is survived by his children; Dave (Lori), Mary, Tim (Angela Dieter) and Eve (Tom von Sternberg) and by grandchildren; Blaise, Dylan, Taylor, Mandy, Dieter, Parker and Ellis and great-grandchildren; Arlo, Eero, Ayva, Cam, Antigone, and by his much loved cat Sylvester.