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James Benjamin Ware

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James Benjamin Ware

Pine River

James (Jim, Jimmy) Benjamin Ware, 78, of Pine River, passed away March 19, 2014, at Sanford Medical Center, Bemidji.

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He was born March 10, 1936, in Pine River, Minn., to James and Marie Ware. Jim was a graduate of Pine River High School. On June 29, 1957, he married Norma Jean Johnson. Raised on the farm in Bungo Township, he was always at home in the woods. He was an excellent shot and avid deer hunter all of his life. Like his family, he was raised on music and performed with his family numerous times at barn dances and other occasions. Already a young man of many trades, he was good with his hands and worked multiple jobs in those first years of marriage to make ends meet. This included road grading for the county, welding, hauling fuel oil, working in the mines and miscellaneous jobs in the Twin Cities, some of which required him to travel back and forth while Norma stayed home with the kids in Pine River. He and his ‘57 Chevy likely blew the tires off a few unsuspecting victims, as he loved to drive fast.

Eventually he took a job in the Cities working for a construction company full time, and he and Norma settled in Circle Pines to raise the kids. In 1976, they moved to Dubuque, Iowa, where Jim went into business for himself and built several homes, including the one they lived in. In the mid 1980s, they moved to Overland Park, Kan., as Norma was promoted. There he continued to do some remodeling but for the most part become partially retired. He also became a much more avid golfer at this point and both he and Norma took up square dancing, buying a mobile home and traveling with friends to many Midwestern locations. In the late 1990s, they moved to Moorhead, Minn., until retirement when they both moved back to Pine River.

During that time they had also purchased a home in Tucson, Ariz., and wintered there for several years, until Norma’s untimely death in 2007. In the years following that, Jim lived alone as his Parkinson’s took hold of him, eventually placing him in a nursing home in Bemidji, Minn. They both made many friends on their journey through life and will be missed by all those friends and his family very much.

Jim is survived by his sons, Mitch Ware (Julie) of Prescott, Wis., Tim Ware (Tami) of Dubuque, Iowa, and Brad Ware (Cheri) of Hines, Minn.; daughter, Pam Barron (Chris) of Irving, Texas; sister, Thelma Williams of Crosslake, Minn.; brother, Ronald (Pat) Ware of Brainerd, Minn.; 13 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his father, James Ware; his mother, Marie Ware; and wife, Norma Jean Ware.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 29, at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Pine River. Visitation will be Friday from 5-7 p.m. at Kline Funeral Home, Pine River, and one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in Pine Ridge Cemetery, Pine River, followed by lunch at the church.

Arrangements are with Kline Funeral Home, Pine River.

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