BAXTER - Jim Pace, age 62, of Baxter, passed away Friday, Nov. 21, 2008, at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd, Minn., surrounded by his family and loved ones by his side.
He was born Sept. 28, 1946, in Asheville, N.C., to James Sr. and Edith (Gregory) Pace. He graduated in 1964 from Charles D. Owen High School, Swannanoa, N.C., and one year of college for pharmacy.
Jim entered the Army in 1968. He attended Officer's Candidate School where he was commissioned as second lieutenant in 1970. He served two tours in Vietnam, one as an enlisted man, his second as a combat rifle platoon leader and then as company commander of Charlie Company, 1/52nd Infantry Division, 198th Infantry Brigade, 23rd Infantry Division; later assigned to the Brigade Headquarters for his successful command in the field. He received numerous awards and medals, including the prestigious Silver Star, four Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts, Air Medal, various campaign and service ribbons. Jim was an effective leader and well respected by his men. Jim had over 480 parachute jumps to his credit.
Jim was active in the Moose Lodge (1246), serving two terms as governor, past governor, gambling manager, the executive board; member of the VFW, American Legion, Central Lakes Corvette Club, charter member of Corvettes Anonymous and was also TIPS trained. Jim was instrumental in starting the Automotive Council in Brainerd and was a member of the Automotive Advisory Council at Central Lakes College. He was currently employed as the branch manager for Solideal USA in Brooklyn Center, Minn. He owned his own business in his earlier years. He has been involved in the tire industry for most of his life.
Jim had a passion for cars and racing. He raced for many years. He loved NASCAR, sports and was a huge Packer fan, enjoyed reading and watched the History Channel. He was forever gaining knowledge where ever he could. But most of all he loved his family and his fiancee, Kay. He was a loving parent and affectionately called Papa by his grandchildren. He was always there to donate his time or to help in any way he could. He was known for his kindness, and was loved and respected by so many. He will be missed by his family and so many friends and acquaintances.
He is survived by his children David (Georgia) Minnick and Lela Minnick of North Carolina, Alexis Pace and James Pace III of Michigan, Sarah Pace, Brainerd, Minn., Becky (Dan) Fanjoy and Hannah Pace of Wisconsin; his mother Edith Pace, North Carolina; and fiancee Kay Deist, Baxter; grandchildren Courtney, Asa, Laura, Ally, Senci, Hailey, Owen and Keagan.
He was preceded in death by his father, James Pace Sr.; son, Jason Pace; brother, Frederick Gregory Pace; and his grandparents.
The wake will be Monday, Nov. 24, from 4-7 p.m. at Nelson-Doran Funeral Home, Brainerd, Minn., with a prayer service at 7 p.m. Services will be Tuesday, Nov. 25, at St. Andrew's Catholic Church, Brainerd, at 11 a.m. with visitation from 10-11 a.m. Luncheon will be at the Moose Club, Brainerd, immediately following the service. Burial will be at Camp Ripley with the VFW Honor Guard. The Patriot Guard will also be present.
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