James “Jim” Kleinjan, 82, New Salem, died January 19, 2014, surrounded by his six children and remaining brother, Loran Kleinjan.
Services were held January 23, at St. Pius V Catholic Church, New Salem. Burial followed at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery.
Jim was born in Bentley on September 10, 1931 to Henry and Jane (Hallam) Kleinjan. He graduated from New Leipzig High School in 1949. He attended Dickinson State College until he was drafted into the US military, where he was stationed in Germany for 15 months. Jim worked for the US Postal Service for 39 years as a loyal and dedicated rural letter carrier first in Bentley and then in New Salem.
On April 9, 1953, he was united in marriage to Helen Roth at St. Vincents Catholic Church in Mott. They spent their first 22 years of marriage in Bentley and Mott, moving to New Salem in 1975 where they had resided since.
In his youth Jim was a talented athlete that loved playing baseball, football, and basketball. After retirement, he had more time to do what he loved, watching sports, listening to sports, and attended many local sporting events, especially the games where his son Steve, was a coach. He also enjoyed spending time with all his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Many children in the community adored him as “grandpa” as well. He also enjoyed gardening, visiting with his neighbors, canning, and cooking.
In his later years he took care of his wife as her health failed, not knowing his own health was already in decline. Once he saw her home to God, he stayed to spend a couple more Christmases with his family and hold his newest ten-day old great-granddaughter, just days before he died.
Blessed to have shared his life are his sons and daughters-in-law Rod and Amy Kleinjan (Dickinson), Randy and Linda Kleinjan (Bismarck), Scott and Kris Kleinjan (Bismarck), Steve and Lisa Kleinjan (New Salem), and Troy and Connie Kleinjan (Bismarck); daughter and son-in-law Nancy and Tom Beck (Minneapolis); 10 grandchildren Kayla, Trent, Brent, Bryan, Jordan, Nolan, Mason, Harlee, and Morgan Kleinjan, and Oliver Beck; and 5 great grandchildren Jayden Atkins, Tyler, Jaden, Addison, and Emma Kleinjan; brother Loran Kleinjan and his wife Arlene (Mandan); Helens two sisters-in-law Clara (Roth) Esselback (Mt. Vernon, Wash.) and Shirley Roth (Stanwood, Wash.); and numerous nieces and nephews. He is also survived by a large extended family that includes the Friez & Roth families, and numerous old and new friends.
Jim was preceded in death by his wife, parents, and one brother (Richard Kleinjan)
Memorials may be provided to the New Salem High School football program, the St. Pius Catholic Church, or the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery.
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