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James W. “Jim” Gottsleben

April 14, 1929 - August 15, 2012

James W. “Jim” Gottsleben, age 83 of Philip, S.D., died Wednesday, August 15, 2012, at the Philip Nursing Home.
James William Gottsleben was born April 14, 1929, to William and Helen (Gehan) Gottsleben in Pierre. Jim grew up ranching and lived most of his life on the Gottsleben Ranch, which was homesteaded by his grandparents in 1907.
Jim graduated from Philip High School in May 1947 and attended Black Hills State University that summer. He began his teaching career at Alfalfa Valley School, located three miles from his home place. He taught there two years followed by another two years at Enterprise School. During this time he lived at home (due to his mother’s death in his senior year of high school) helping his dad farm and ranch.
Jim married Myrna Coleman on November 29, 1952, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Philip. To this union five children were born. Upon his father’s death in 1956, he purchased the homestead and surrounding land. Jim also added an insurance agency through Missouri Valley Mutual Insurance Company to the farming and ranching operation. He remained an insurance agent for 54 years. In 2005, Jim and Myrna sold the ranch to their son, Bill. They then moved to Philip where they have since resided.
Jim served on the Deadman School board and on the ASCS Committee for several years. He was a Farmer’s Union Cooperative member. He belonged to Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Philip. Jim was awarded an Honorary Lifetime Membership and held the position of financial secretary for over 50 years with the Philip Knights of Columbus.
Throughout his life, Jim was a hard worker – proud of his homesteading heritage and dedicated to the land, his family, community, and faith. In spite of health issues, he continued to stay strong up through his last few years. His perseverance was a credit to his character.
Grateful for sharing in his life are his wife of 59 years, Myrna Gottsleben; one son, William “Bill” Gottsleben and his wife, Jayne, of Philip; four daughters, Sharon Baxter and her husband, Darwin, of Arvada, Colo., Kathy Gottsleben of Rapid City, Barbara Larsen and her husband, Carl, of Caputa, and Carolyn Brooks and her husband, Jim, of Dupree; 13 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; two sisters, Mary Pekron of Philip, and Ann Pattno and her husband, Tom, of Hastings, Neb.
Preceding Jim in death were his parents and a brother-in-law, Henry “Hank” Pekron.
Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 23, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Philip, with Father Kevin Achbach as celebrant.
Pall placement will be done by Jessica Larsen, Kara Larsen, Chana Gottsleben and Brittany Brooks. Gift bearers are Tara and Tyana Gottsleben. Eucharistic ministers are Joe Gittings and Lloyd Frein. Altar server are Allison Pekron and Tristen Rush.
Ushers are Marvin Eide and Chuck Carstensen. Pallbearers are Zach Baxter, Tim and Dustin Larsen, Lee Brooks, Kevin Coleman and Steve Pekron. Honorary pallbearers are the Knights of Columbus #2679 of Philip and all relatives and friends in attendance.
Interment will be at the Masonic Cemetery in Philip.
Arrangements are with the Rush Funeral Home of Philip.
His online guestbook is available at www.rushfuneralhome.com