Cover photo for James Edwin Vande Kamp's Obituary
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1943 James 2021

James Edwin Vande Kamp

June 1, 1943 — December 6, 2021

James ‘Jim’ Edwin Vande Kamp, of Northome, MN was greeted by his Lord and Savior on December 6, 2021. He was born to Robert C. and Mary (De Hamer) Vande Kamp on June 1, 1943 at the family farm near Prairie City, IA. Jim worked as a welder, dairy route driver, and farmhand in high school. While close with all his siblings, he shared a special bond with his sister, Jan, through working together on the family farm. Jim and Jan double-dated with Judy and Lee, and their fun at the roller-skating rink and other shenanigans led to lifetime loves. He was united in marriage to Judy A. Van Zee on April 8, 1963 in Pella, IA. This union begat two daughters, Juldie Lynn and Kathy Jo. Jim was a proud US Navy Seabee veteran. He joined the Navy in 1962 and served active duty for two years followed by 20 additional years in the Naval Reserve. Jim was a man of varied interests and passions and was trained and worked in numerous fields over the years. He was a lab technician, salesman, truck driver, construction worker, architectural draftsman, emergency medical technician, and deacon. Jim and Judy moved to Minneapolis, MN in 1966 where Jim attended school and worked at Eitel Hospital as well as the University of Minnesota as a lab technician. He had very fond memories of his time there (except for his experience of being in a locked room when his dog attacked him after developing a brain tumor, ripped all his clothes off him and bit a hole in his leg...he kept that leg for decades to come for the record but always told people it is where he was shot during WWII, The Big One). In the early 1970s Jim started working in construction building houses for several contractors. He loved building and working with wood. He built commercial buildings and homes, including several that his family lived in around the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area. Jim and Judy remained in the Twin Cities area while Juldie and Kathy were in school. Faith was a priority for the family as was time together swimming, going to their cabin near Big Falls on the Sturgeon River, riding three-wheelers, playing pool, watching Disney or Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom with Totino’s Party Pizza, playing board games, and hanging out with the family dogs. Jim was a huge dog lover. He always had dogs that he loved dearly and, it appears, he passed that affliction to his offspring. Jim was an amazing whistler, probably the world’s best, and would always be heard whistling some old “country and western” song- Vern Gosdin, The Statler Brothers being perennial favorites. Jim could shoot a mean game of pool. Jim had a few vices- Certs or Wintergreen LifeSavers, smoking Camels and drinking Pepsi. He gave up the cigarettes with pride, the LifeSavers faded, but the Pepsi remained dear. In 1990, Jim and Judy moved to Northome, MN. During retirement, Jim enjoyed spending time outdoors and working on their farm, rebuilding classic Fords, and woodworking in his shop. He also worked locally doing various remodeling and construction projects and was a first responder. He loved country western music, and spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Jim was ordained into the permanent deaconate on August 7, 2004, where he served the local tri-parish, with St. Michaels Catholic Church in Northome being his home church. He was proud to have the honor of participating in the confirmation, baptism, and First Communion of some of his own grandchildren. He was a great conversationalist and made friends wherever he went; people appreciated his humor, sarcasm, and wit. He maintained a positive outlook on life despite challenges, always keeping his humor and leaning on his faith in God. Jim is preceded in death by his parents Robert C. and Mary (De Hamer) Vande Kamp and his much beloved service dog Snoopy. He is survived by his wife, Judy; siblings, Robert (Norma) Vande Kamp, Donna (Keith) Hoekwater, Larry (Lavonne) Vande Kamp, and Janet (Lee) Klyn; daughters, Juldie (Timothy) Bohmer and Kathy (Steven) Janousek; grandchildren Natasha Vande Kamp, Kayla LaTarte, Savannah LaTarte, Alexander (Katrina) Bohmer, Anika Bohmer, Austin LaTarte, Lexus Janousek, and Abby Janousek; great-grandchildren Naveah Vande Kamp, Scarlett Lenk, and James Moran, as well as numerous other family and friends.
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