Cover photo for James "Jim" Michels's Obituary
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1956 James "Jim" 2023

James "Jim" Michels

September 14, 1956 — January 20, 2023

James “Jim” Michels, 66, passed peacefully on Friday, January 20, 2023, at Lake Region Healthcare in Fergus Falls, MN, surrounded by his family.

James Marlin was born September 14, 1956, in Osage, Iowa, the son of Jerald and Adeline (Smolik)Michels.  In 1962 his family moved to Faribault, MN and in summer of 1966 the family moved to Pelican Rapids, MN.  After the loss of his mother, they lived in Detroit Lakes, MN for one year.  Then back to Pelican Rapids where Jim graduated from Pelican Rapids High School in 1975.  On August 9, 1980, Jim was united in marriage to Melanie Soberg.

Jim started his love of farming while working for Trosvik Brothers when he was young.  He worked as an EMT for Ringdahl Ambulance Service on nights and weekends.  Jim was a union bricklayer and retired from that in 2018 having worked on projects including the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, ND, the Fargo Dome, the Paper Plant in International Falls, the Veteran's Memorial Monument in Pelican Rapids and the Pelican Rapids School.  Jim was involved in many community activities including Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Big Brother program, and 4-H.  He had many interests from training springer spaniels, hunting, fishing, trapping, playing on the local softball teams, avidly reading history, and enjoyed sharing with his ‘book club.’  He enjoyed life with his family in all sporting events, and the family fishing and hunting trips were very important to him.  In 2011 his US Patent was documented.  Jim took great pride in the growth of the first-generation farm that he helped create for his family and their future.  

He is survived by his loving wife of 42 years, Melanie, son Travis (Kim) with their children, Emma, Ellie, and Wyatt of Ham Lake, MN, son, Trenton of Pelican Rapids, son Tayler (Stephanie) with son Dax of Bismarck, ND: siblings:  Darrel (Sandy) Michels, Anne (Paul) Stegmeier, Cinda Michels, Mark (Barb) Michels, Tom (Joyce) Michels, Bob (Glenda) Michels, Jon (Karen) Michels, and Maureen Leary; mother-in-law Dottie Soberg; brothers and sisters-in-law Tom (Nancy) Soberg, Kevin (Wendey) Soberg, and Dawn Johnson; and many nieces and nephews.

Jim is preceded in death by his parents, stepmother Clara Michels, father-in-law Ivan Soberg, stepbrother Myron Engebretson, brothers-in-law Jim Roach and Greg Johnson, and nephew Tom Roach.

Jim has a very large extended family, so numerous, but including foreign exchange student Jesper Lehmann, Jake, Don, Gary, Dave, Craig, Mike, Jon, Nate and Daniel.

In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to Pelican 4-H Club. You can make a check out to ‘Pelican 4H’ 44593 275th Ave., Pelican Rapids MN 56572. 

Memorial Mass: 12:30 p.m., Saturday, January 28, 2023, at St. Leonard Catholic Church, Pelican Rapids, Minnesota with Father Alan Wielinski officiating. If you would like to watch a livestream of Jim's Memorial Mass, you are also invited to go to Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Visitation: Following the funeral till 5:30 p.m. at Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church in Pelican Rapids.

Interment in the spring: Northwest Cemetery near Pelican Rapids.

Please keep Jim's family in your thoughts and prayers



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