James H. Page died in Olivia, Minnesota on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 at the age of 87.
Born July 2, 1932, in Sisseton, South Dakota, Jim grew up with strong influences in family, education, and the outdoors. His entrepreneurial spirit was inspired at a young age by working at Stavig Brothers Department Store. Wrapped in rich immigrant history, “the store” loomed large given its founding by his Norwegian grandfather and brothers in 1898. Working with his father and extended family members was a defining experience for him and set the stage for his own business legacy.
Jim graduated from South Dakota State University’s pharmacy school in 1954 and met Mary Jungemann during summer school. After serving in the army for two years, Jim wed Mary in 1957. In 1960, they were drawn to Olivia, Minnesota when a local drug store was for sale. They established roots and raised their family in Olivia.
Page Drug was a cornerstone business in the community under Jim’s leadership. As an astute businessperson, he was fond of saying, “It’s been a pleasure doing business with you.” Jim was committed to great customer service; he regularly took calls in the middle of the night to fill and deliver prescriptions. He hired and mentored many students, including his three children. Jim worked tirelessly until his retirement in 2017.
Jim didn’t “burn daylight” in his leisure time. Always fit, Jim took up running in the 1970s and never stopped. Logging 30,000 miles over his lifetime, he ran 18 marathons, including the first 13 Twin Cities marathons. In 2019, he ran his last 5K with his children and grandchildren. Corn Capital Days defined every July, including building over-the-top parade floats and making chocolate malts in a five-gallon bucket. For nearly 60 years, Jim hunted deer and antelope with his family and friends in Montana. Jim was an avid reader with a particular love for history and Westerns, and he attended a regular Bible study group. As a craftsman, he refinished furniture and improvised repairs regularly. He loved the beach, warm weather, and swimming.
The core of Jim’s being was in his deep values, faith, and exemplary character. He believed in the power of family and loving relationships, and supported each person’s aspirations. His natural kindness, open attitude, wisdom, wittiness, and sharp insights drew people to him. He listened well and gave good advice. In adversity, he was resilient and not fearful. Humble, caring, generous, and patient, he was a role model to many.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Leonard and Irene Page, his brother, Loren, and his loving wife, Mary.
Jim is survived by his three children: Marcia (John Huepenbecker), David (Staci), and Mark (Ann) and his eight grandchildren: Sarah, Kristen, and Laura Huepenbecker; Lauren, James and Elizabeth Page; and Jennifer and Natalie Page. Also surviving are his brother, Keith (Kathie), his sister, Kathy Steinbaugh (Dave), and his companion Dorothy Boerboom, as well as several nieces and nephews.
We all celebrate Jim’s immeasurable influence on our lives.
A visitation will be held at Cross of Calvary Lutheran Church in Olivia from 3-6 pm on Sunday, January 12. The memorial service will be at 11 am on Monday, January 13, with visitation one hour before the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in Jim’s name be directed to RC Hospital Foundation in Olivia or Pheasants Forever at P.O. Box 115 in Fairfax. We honor Jim’s interests and desire to “buy local”.
Dirks-Blem Funeral Service offers many styles of services to honor the memory of your loved one. Funerals should be meaningful, reflect the individual, and celebrate the life they led. Personalized funerals are more involved, giving people a chance to remember what made that individual so unique.