James “Jim” D. Vukelich, age 71, of Pillager, MN passed away peacefully with his loving family by his side on Monday, January 5, 2021 at his home in Pillager. A celebration of Jim’s life will be held at a later date. Arrangements have been entrusted to Brenny Family Funeral Chapel, Baxter.
Jim was born on May 15, 1949 in Crosby, MN to George and Mary (Radinovich) Vukelich. Following high school graduation, he attended Central Lakes Community College – Staples, where he received training as a machinist and later received his electrician’s licensure from Wadena. Jim proudly served his country in the United States Army serving a 14 month deployment to Vietnam; honorably receiving a Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medal. Following his honorable discharge, Jim married the love of his life, Laurel Williams, on December 7, 1974 in Polson, MT. The couple had three boys, and Jim enjoyed his involvement with his sons. Jim was employed at Potlatch for 20 years, ultimately retiring in 2001 as the lead man of the machine shop. Jim found his serenity in the great outdoors; always staying busy hunting, fishing, or working on his collection of British sports cars. He taught his family to persevere through the tough times and work hard for the things you want in life. Jim was fun, kind, generous, hardworking, genuine, loving, dedicated and lived life to its fullest. He was a fantastic husband, great mentor to his sons, and awesome grandfather to his grandchildren; above all else he loved his family beyond words. Jim will be dearly missed by all who knew him.
Jim is survived by his wife of 46 years, Laurel; sons, James (Janna) of Apple Valley, John (Erin) of Chanhassen, Anthony (Selva) of Clarksville, TN; grandchildren, Noah, Aylin, Nizhoni, Tony Jr., Jack; siblings, George (Sue), Joe (Deb), Frank (Kathy), Dolly (Rick), Greg (Denise), Rita, Jeannie (David), Patty, John (Amy); and many relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Barb, Dorothy, Ed, Katherine, and Clara.