Longtime State Representative James “Jim” Brokaw, 80, rural Forbes, died Oct. 9, 2012, at his home with his wife of 60 years at his side. Mass of Christian burial will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at St. Helena’s Catholic Church, Ellendale, with the Rev. John Kizito officiating. Burial will be in Ellendale City Cemetery.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the church, with a rosary at 6:45 p.m. and a liturgical wake service at 7 p.m.
Jim died October 9, 2012, at his home with his wife of 60 years at his side.
Jim was born on September 20, 1932, in Oak Gulch Township, Day County, S.D. to Lloyd and Ann (Sjerven) Brokaw. He grew up near Bristol, S.D., and worked with his dad doing custom haying. In 1946, they moved to a farm near Forbes, N.D.. He graduated from Forbes in 1949, obtained a teaching certificate from Ellendale College, and taught in a rural school near Long Lake, S.D..
He was united in marriage to E. Joanne Ladd on September 6, 1952 at St. Helena’s Catholic Church. In 1959, they moved their family to Spring Valley Township where they ranched, and raised their nine children.
He was an avid baseball player, and he pitched for the Forbes’ amateur team. Time spent playing was some of the most enjoyable times of his life. He loved watching the Twins play every chance he got; he and Joanne celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at a Twins game. Jim had a great love for horses, teaching, and kids, and stayed involved by serving as a 4-H leader for many years. He worked with kids passing on what he knew whenever he had the chance.
Another interest that he dedicated his time to was Quarter Horses and horse shows. He was a member of Maud Evans Saddle Club, and he took the family to horse shows and rodeos on weekends between milking cows. A trip to the ND State Fair every year was a highlight. He also raised Border Collies and spent hours training them as cattle dogs.
Jim was a member of the Democratic NPL party, was a Precinct Committeeman, and served as a legislator for District 28 for fourteen years. He was a longtime member of N.D. Farmers Union; he served as Dickey County Farmers Union President for several years.
Jim is survived by his wife Joanne, nine children, Greg (Mary Kay), Ashley, Kim (Cheryl), Ellendale, Kevin (Jackie), Forbes; Kay (Keith) Kronberg, Forbes; Lois Baer, Ellendale; Mary Jo (Norm) Fries, Steele; Carol (Doug) Kindelspire, Leola, S.D.; Lynn Brokaw (Tom Samson), Bismarck, and Lloyd Brokaw (Mark), Crookston, Minn.; 25 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren; one brother, Leslie (Geraldine) Brokaw, Renton, Wash.; two sisters, Lucille Meyer, Spokane, Wash., and Joanne Merkel, Forbes.
He was preceded in death by one grandson Brad Brokaw, and great-grandchild, Eleanor Fries; two sisters, Marion Hutman, Denver, Colo. and Betty Olson, Bristol, S.D..
Casketbearers will be Jim’s grandsons. Gift Bearers will be Jim’s granddaughters. The organist is Mavis Breitag and special music by Afton and Brett Samson. The lectors will be Norm and Mary Jo Fries.
Carlsen Funeral Home of Ellendale has been entrusted with the arrangements.
October 12, 2012