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Jim Koertge, 77, Tolstoy, SD, died Thursday, June 28, 2012 at Avera St. Luke’s Hospital, Aberdeen, SD. His Funeral Mass will be 10:00 am, Tuesday, July 3, 2012 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Hoven, SD, with Father Kevin Doyle, celebrant. Inurnment follows at the Church Cemetery with military graveside rites by the John J. Peters American Legion Post No. 159, Hoven, SD. Organist will be Alice Simon and St. Anthony’s Church Choir will sing “How great Thou Art”, “On Eagle’s Wings” and “Amazing Grace, how sweet the Sound”. “Candle in the Wind” will also be rendered electronically. Offertory will be Issac Gonzalez and Jasmine Gonzalez. Mass server will be Marcos Gonzalez. Eucharistic Minister will be Allen Frost and lector will be Andy Rausch.
Wake services will be 5:00 PM Monday with memorial visitation beginning 4:00 PM.
James Allen Koertge, son of Mary (Brelsord) and Riley Koertge, was born October 14, 1934 at Detroit, MI. This is where he was raised and received his formal education graduating with the Redford High School Class of 1952. He served his country in the United States Navy, being inducted April 25, 1952. Following his honorable discharge on April 24, 1960, he took employment with Arvin Industries out of Detroit for whom he sold automotive parts and electronics. He later attended a flight training program and was hired by Cessna Industries. He sold Cessna Aircrafts for approximately 23 years from Pontiac, MI, and Detroit. Due to Jim’s superior flight and sales skills he was promoted to San Mateo, CA, as a district manager. During his sales travels he delivered a plane that he had sold to Ogden, Utah and ended up falling in love with the state. He then sold recreational properties and designed and developed a high quality sportsman’s club near Fruitland, Utah. In the mid 1980’s, Jim and a friend, Neal Rasmussen, designed and developed The Prairie Schooner Steakhouse in Ogden. Following Neal’s death in 1982, Jim purchased the business out right. The Schooner was a very successful venture and with its covered wagon booths the restaurant and Jim became a landmark and an icon in Ogden. Due to ill health, Jim retired in 2009 and remained in Ogden. Jim visited South Dakota frequently for hunting over the years. In August 2011 Jim’s son, James and his wife Donna, purchased a home in Tolstoy. Due to his fondness of the Tolstoy area, Jim decided to spend the remainder of his life there. He was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Ogden and was currently a member of St. Anthony’s in Hoven. He also served on the Utah Wildlife Board. Jim loved hunting and fishing and earned the nickname “Great White Hunter”. Due to his hair color, Jim also earned the nickname “Silver Tip”. As Jim was a very dear, caring, and giving person, he will be missed by many. He fervently believed that you never stood taller than when you were on your knees.
Family surviving Jim are four sons James (Donna) Koertge of Tolstoy (who also were Jim’s main care givers since his retirement), Steve Friendt of Hutchinson, MN, Jeff (Mary) Friendt of Ogden, and Brandon Koertge of Gig Harbor, WA; two daughters—Sharon (Chuck) Plattisha of Hutchinson and Jessica Koertge of Lynnwood, WA; one brother David (Kathy) Koertge of Highland, MI; one sister Nancy Menken of Jefferson, OR.;7 Grandchildren and10 great grandchildren (all of whom loved Jim deeply).
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Lien Funeral Home, Bowdle, is in charge of arrangements.