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James A. Degn, 73

James Allen “Jim” Degn, 73, of Fairfax passed away Sunday, March 28, 2021, after a long and courageous battle with larynx cancer.

He was born December 24, 1947 in Hutchinson, to Grant and Olga (Opsahl) Degn.

Jim spent his childhood days in the idyllic countryside, always in the company of his many siblings. He went to high school in Howard Lake, and excelled in typing class and shorthand.

Shortly after graduation, Jim was hired at Sun Papers in Bloomington, where he worked as a typesetter for nearly a decade.

During the Vietnam War, Jim was called to serve in the US Army. Jim was stationed in Thailand where he served as a secretary to his commanding general.

After the war, Jim returned to his home in Minnesota and his work at Sun Papers.

In his free time, Jim enjoyed playing the piano for friends and family. Jim never took any formal lessons but was self-taught, and learned to play the piano by ear.

Jim enjoyed visiting with family and friends, and always requested his host or hostess put on a pot of coffee before he arrived.

Later in life, Jim worked as a cook at the Red Rooster in Dassel, and the Tin Cup in St Paul, where he befriended many of the local patrons.

Jim was outgoing and easily struck up a conversation with others. Jim’s laugh was distinct, endearing, and easily drew you in. He was kind and generous, and everybody wanted to be friends with Jim.

After spending many years living in an urban environment, Jim desired to return to the quiet and calm that he had known in his childhood.

Jim bought a small house of his own in Fairfax, where he enjoyed working on minor home improvements, and gardening projects to keep him busy.

During his time in Fairfax, Jim began having several health issues.

Despite his many ailments, he was always in good spirits and was up for a visit with family and friends, where you could be sure to be treated to cookies and other home-baked goods.

Jim was the kind of guy you could talk and laugh with for hours on end, and he will be deeply missed by those who were touched by his selfless acts, and his unmistakable laughter.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, and his siblings Curtis, Wayne, Dennis, and Caroline (Hartman).

Jim is survived by his siblings Sharon Peterson, Joyce Drews, Terry (Rita), and Randy (Mary); as well as many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Memorial services will take place Thursday, April 8 at 11 a.m. at the Iten Funeral Chapel in Delano.

A gathering of family and friends will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday prior to the services. Inurnment with military honors will be in the Ft. Snelling National Cemetery: Assembly Lane #3. Arrangements by the Iten Funeral Home in Delano.

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