FUNERAL SERVICES: 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Park Rapids, MN with Father Thomas Friedl officiating.
VISITATION: 5-8:00 P.M. on Monday, January 16, 2012 at the Jones-Pearson Funeral Home in Park Rapids, MN and for one hour prior to the service at the church on Tuesday.
INTERMENT: St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Cemetery, Park Rapids, MN
SURVIVORS: His children: Becky Fuller of Sebeka, Bruce (Linda) Little and Jim (Debbie) Little all of Bemidji, Tim (Cindy) Little of Park Rapids, Robert (Laurie) Little of Hastings, and Cindy (Jody) Yliniemi of Osage; 17 beloved grandchildren and 28 precious great grandchildren; his sister, Joyceanne Reasbeck of Mesa, AZ, sister-in-law, Lois Arusell of Sebeka, brother-in-law, John Michels of Des Moines, Iowa.
JAMES “Lee” LITTLE
May 20, 1916 – January 12, 2012
James “Lee” Little, 95, a life time Park Rapids, MN resident, unexpectedly; but, peacefully entered the splendor of Heaven on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at his home.
Lee was born on May 20, 1916 in Park Rapids to James E. and Mary (Scanlon) Little. He attended public school in Park Rapids, growing up helping in his father’s auto repair business, “Little’s Garage”, where he learned everything from overhauling engines to fixing transmissions from his dad. Lee was an exceptional athlete in high school and lettered in football, basketball and track. He also enjoyed playing third base on the City league. Lee graduated with the Park Rapids class of 1935. After high school, Lee already an accomplished mechanic, worked full time for his father. In January of 1941, Lee enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps, where he proudly served his country as an aircraft mechanic/instrument specialist in the Central Pacific Theatre of World War II. He earned the rank of sergeant and served over seas for 2 ½ years until his honorable discharge on October 31, 1945. Lee then returned home to work in the family business and put his roots down permanently. It was about this time that he met a beautiful young school teacher, Hazel Irene Nicholson. They fell in love and were married on April 29, 1950 at St. Peters Catholic Church in Park Rapids. Their marriage was blessed with six children: Becky, Bruce, Jim, Tim, Robert and Cindy. The young family made their home in Park Rapids where Lee took over the family business. In addition, Lee was involved in his community. He was a faithful life long member of St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church. He was also an active member of the Park Rapids Chapter of the Knights of Columbus. He also was a member of the Park Rapids Fire Department for 21 years, serving from 1947 to 1968, and as secretary for 19 of those years. Lee loved the out doors; especially when he could be out teaching his children and grandchildren about the north woods and how to hunt safely and successfully. After investing his life in a 50 year career with his auto repair business, Lee retired in 1980. To keep himself busy he worked at the Itasca State Park as a Green Thumb worker. When his bride retired in 1988, he joined her in traveling together, enjoying their children and grandchildren and visiting with their many friends and extended family.
Lee will be lovingly remembered by his children: Becky Fuller of Sebeka, Bruce (Linda) Little and Jim (Debbie) Little all of Bemidji, Tim (Cindy) Little of Park Rapids, Robert (Laurie) Little of Hastings, and Cindy (Jody) Yliniemi of Osage; 17 beloved grandchildren and 28 precious great grandchildren; his sister, Joyceanne Reasbeck of Mesa, AZ, sister-in-law, Lois Arusell of Sebeka, brother-in-law, John Michels of Des Moines, Iowa; as well as many nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Hazel and four sisters: Florence, Margaret, Dorothy and Charlotte.
Funeral services will be held 11 AM Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Park Rapids with Father Thomas Friedl officiating. Annette Haas will lead the Mass music. The active casket bearers will be Lee’s grandchildren: Robert Fuller, Jessica Becker, Trista Little, Ryan Little, Brian Little and Joshua Yliniemi. The honorary casket bearers will be the rest of his grandchildren: Jennifer Reger, LeAnne McDaniel, Christine Butler, Matthew Little, Caitlyn Little, Travis Little, Kyle Little, Nathan Little, Katie Ball, Stacey Kimball and Megan Komppa and retired and active members of the Park Rapids Fire Department. Military Honors will be performed by the Star of the North Marine Corps League. Ray Vaadeland will play taps. Interment will be made in the Little family plot next to his precious wife, Hazel at St. Peters Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 PM Monday, January 16 at the Jones-Pearson Funeral Home in Park Rapids and for one hour prior to the service at the church on Tuesday.