James “Jim” Leo Dokken, age 88, of Willmar, passed away peacefully October 2nd, entering his eternal reward as a follower of Jesus Christ. His life was a testament to dedication, service, and unwavering commitment to his family, faith, community, and country.
Visitation will begin at 10:30 a.m. followed by a celebration of life service at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, October 20, at the Assembly of God Church in Willmar. Military honors are provided by the Willmar American Legion Post. Interment will be at a later date at Calvary Lutheran Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials to honor Jim’s life may be directed to Hawthorne Assembly of God Church (6366 S. County Road E, Poplar, WI. 54864). Arrangements are entrusted to Peterson Brothers Funeral Home. www.petersonbrothers.com
James was the oldest son and third born child of Martin Ole and Clara Mildred (Syverson) Dokken, formerly of Willmar. He was born August 23, 1935, in Willmar, Minnesota.
James was a graduate of Willmar Senior High School and continued his education later in life at Willmar Community College. In 1955, he embarked on a remarkable journey of service by joining the United States Air Force, serving with distinction for 20 years. His unwavering commitment saw him retire as a “First Sergeant” at the rank of Senior Master Sergeant, after working primarily as a draftsman illustrator for 18 years. He was awarded numerous citations of excellence, ribbons, and medals for exemplary service to his nation.
It was during his assignment in Germany that James met the love of his life, Reinhilde Agnes Hofer, and in 1961 they exchanged vows, marking the beginning of a beautiful partnership that lasted for over six decades. Together, they raised three wonderful children: Joseph Martin, Michael James, and Thomas Keith, who brought immense joy and pride to their lives.
Returning to his hometown in 1975, he spent the next two years earning his associate degree in psychology. Over the next 40 years he worked for several companies; Woodland Hills, Minneapolis Star and Tribune area manager, Willmar bus service, and for a number of years ran his own business “Designs by Dokken” as a professional sign painter.
James was a man of faith and community, a devoted member of the Willmar Assembly of God Church, teaching adult Sunday School and serving as an usher for many years. His dedication extended beyond his spiritual life, serving as Commander of the Willmar American Legion Post from 2009-10, working tirelessly to support veterans and their families. He was also a proud member of the Disabled American Veterans, advocating for the rights and well-being of disabled veterans.
Additionally, James made significant contributions as a City Councilman for 17 years, helping to shape the future of his beloved hometown.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Reinhilde “Hilde” Dokken of Willmar; three sons, Joseph (and Janet) of Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin; Michael of Chaska and Thomas of Willmar; three grandchildren, Aaron (and Katie) Dokken of Butler, Illinois; Lauren (and Matthew) Burg of Minneapolis and Timothy Dokken of Minneapolis; and five great granddaughters, Gwenyvere, Verity and Myrielle Dokken, and Eleanor and Rainy Burg. Also surviving is one sister Janet (and Allan) Hillstrom of Willmar, besides many loving nieces, nephews and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Arlene Sharstrom and Delores Kottwitz; one brother, Donald Dokken; two brothers-in-law, Henry Kottwitz and Herbert Sharstrom; and one sister-in-law, Janet (Peterson) Dokken.
James leaves behind a legacy of selflessness, integrity, and unwavering dedication, and will be remembered for his love, service, and the indelible mark he left on the hearts of all who had the privilege of knowing him. His spirit will continue to inspire us all. To God be the glory.
Source : Tribune