Jim Rickenberg, 92, a lifelong Kennedy area farmer, passed away at Kittson Memorial Health Care Center on Wednesday, January 11, 2023.
Roy James “Jim” Rickenberg was born August 22, 1930, in Kennedy, Minnesota to Harry and Jorgine (Anderson) Rickenberg. He was baptized and confirmed at East Emmaus Lutheran Church. He grew up on his family farm and began his lifetime career as a farmer when he was just a child by helping his dad work on their farm.
Jim attended Grant Country School until the 8th grade and graduated from Karlstad High School in 1948. On December 7, 1963, he was united in marriage to Helen Swenson at East Emmaus Lutheran Church. Jim and Helen enjoyed 59 years together. Jim was a member of Eidsvold Lutheran Church and was a former board member. Jim also served on the North Kittson Rural water board and the East Emmaus church board before its closure. He was still serving as the treasurer of the East Emmaus Cemetery until his passing.
Jim loved farming and it wasn’t just work to him, it was who he was. The Rickenberg farm was recognized as a Century Farm in 1993. In the winter months, when he couldn’t be in the field, he spent his time in the shop on various wood and metal projects. He loved making things including trailers like the ones he remembered from his childhood, deer stands, sleds and other projects. He will be remembered for his homemade rubber bands (innertubes thinly cut into rubber bands) that could be found all over the farm, laying in the fields and in every piece of machinery because they could be used for everything and anything he needed. He never really retired from farming; in fact, he did field work well into his late 80’s. In his older years, he thoroughly enjoyed cultivating or doing anything else that involved driving his Buhler tractor. Throughout his life, he enjoyed hunting, fishing and watching either the Timberwolves or boxing on television.
Jim was blessed with 3 granddaughters in his 80s and they were the joy of his day whenever they came for a visit. He couldn’t always hear them very well, so they made up their own games of playing together and they called him Grandpa “Jimmy” which always made him smile. He was a wonderful husband, dad and grandfather.
Family members include his wife, Helen; a son, Jeffrey (Amanda), Kennedy; granddaughters, Adelyn, Eliana and Olivia; a brother, Ronald (Nancy Swofford) in Missouri; sisters-in-law, Ruby Beich and Jean Swenson; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Archie and Allan and his wife, Donna; a sister, Harriet Gedney; brothers-in-law, Adolph Beich and Russell Swenson and his wife, Ruth; and a sister-in-law, JoAnn Swenson.
Funeral services are scheduled for Tuesday, January 17th, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. in Zion Lutheran Church, Lake Bronson. Interment will be held next spring in East Emmaus Cemetery. Visitation will be held at the church for one hour prior to the service. Pastor Kathy Levenhagen, presiding; Corienne Jacobson, organist and Ron Fossell, soloist. Honorary pall bearers will be all those in attendance.
To plant Memorial Trees in memory of Roy James “Jim” Rickenberg#