E.F. “Pete” James Jr
E.F. “Pete” James Jr., born Sept. 16, 1927, the third to the youngest in a family of six boys and two girls, of E.F. James Sr. (called “Fylie”) and Minnie [Chapman] James in Opelika, AL spent his childhood and teenage years in Alabama.
He enlisted in the US Army in 1945 where he became a drill sergeant stationed at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Aberdeen, MD. While serving there, he met a young woman from Graettinger- Ruth Wikert – and they were married in Oct. 1946. Upon his discharge from the US Army, Pete and Ruth returned to Graettinger where Ruth’s parents farmed east of town. Pete and Ruth made Graettinger their life-long home.
Pete worked at a couple of jobs in Graettinger – Clarence Wikert Trucking and Martin Furniture & Funeral Home – before settling in at the Graettinger Block & Tile Company where over a 33 year career he was foreman and then General Manager. Shortly after retirement from the Block & Tile Company, Pete having to stay busy went to work for Wayne Anderson & Sons Construction for several years. Pete was active in the construction of the Hillcrest Golf Course and Graettinger’s first municipal swimming pool. Pete served as the American Legion Commander in Graettinger for several years.
Pete passed away of natural causes on Friday, March 16, 2018 at the Good Samaritan Home, Estherville, where he has resided since Sept. 2015.
Pete was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 63 years, Ruth; his dad and mom; four older brothers – Wilbur James, Willie B James, John Henry James, and Jack James; one younger brother – Jessie Frank James; one sister – Frances Wilson and a daughter-in-law, Cindy James. He is survived by his two sons – Randy, Graettinger and Tony (Donna), Altoona; four grandchildren – Kipp (Christina), Hillsboro, OR, Chelsea (Chuck) McNally, Waverly, Allison James, Waverly, and Heather (Andrew) James, Overland Park, KS; 12 great grandchildren – Randi Kaye (Kyle) Cook, Emmetsburg, Dylan James, Hillsboro, OR, Dalton James, Hillsboro, OR, Jake Russo, Portland, OR and Alexis Russo, Eugene, OR; Patrick (Stacy) McNally, Cedar Falls, Alexis McNally, Joseph McNally, and Tyler McNally, all of Waverly; Gabriel Santoiemma and Michael Santoiemma, both of Waverly; two great-great grandchildren – Johnny and June Cook, Emmetsburg; one brother – Tommy James, Auburn, AL; one sister – Mary Jo English, Ocala, FL, and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial visitation for Pete was held from 10am to 12pm at the Henry Olson Funeral Chapel in Graettinger, on Saturday, March 24, 2018. Graveside services will be held at 1:30pm at Valley View Cemetery of Graettinger on Saturday. Military honors will be provided by the Graettinger American Legion.
To God be thanks and praise for letting us share in the life of E.F. “Pete” James, Jr.
Condolences can be left at