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Randy Fylie James 1948-2021


Posted By: Barry R Huntsinger (email)
Date: 1/10/2021 at 17:50:58

Pastor Randy Fylie James, the son of E.F. "Pete" and Ruth (Wikert) James was born July 21, 1948, in Estherville, Iowa. He met our Lord and Savior with great joy and anticipation on Friday, January 1, 2021, at Mercy One North Iowa Hospital in Mason City, Iowa at the age of 72.

He received his education in the Graettinger, Iowa schools, graduating from Graettinger High School in 1966. Randy, Ben Hankey, Bobby Jacobsen and Jerry Wikert had a rock band in High School called “The Captives” where Randy played guitar and sang at many teen dances in the area. Randy then attended and graduated from the University of South Dakota with a degree in History Education and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army, serving from 1970 until 1971.

On March 4, 1967 he was united in marriage to Cindy Hersleff at Bethel Lutheran Church in Graettinger. The couple lived in Vermillion, South Dakota, Akron, Iowa and Melvin, Iowa where Randy taught High School History and coached Girls Softball and Basketball, making several state champ appearances. After living in Melvin, they lived in Centralia, Missouri where Randy worked for Helena Chemical Company. Randy and Cindy then returned and settled in Graettinger to raise their family in the mid 1970’s. He worked as an Ag Chemical Rep for ChemAgro and later Stauffer Chemical Co. When Stauffer was sold, he worked as an Account Executive for Federated Rural Insurance Exchange for 16 years before he retired. Randy also served in the National Guard for 18 years, where he was Captain but served in a Major’s slot. He also served as City Councilman and Mayor of Graettinger, as well as on the School Board and Church Council at Bethel Lutheran. He was active with the Graettinger American Legion. Randy was also a supply Pastor for 25 years, and was officially ordained on April 24, 2016. Most recently, he served at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Estherville, Iowa and was grateful to call those wonderful people his church family. He greatly cherished the friendships made at Redeemer. Randy married Delaine Jacobson on May 17, 2018. The couple made their home outside of Graettinger and enjoyed going south to Arizona for the winters to make many more memories together.

Randy was a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Ruthven, Iowa and Redeemer Lutheran Church in Estherville. Grandpa Randy was admired by his grandchildren and was often referred to as the grandboys’ “Ironman” due to his similar looks, cleverness and wisdom. He made certain to make each Christmas joyous and memorable by being the family’s “Santa Claus” as he was generous beyond belief to loved ones and strangers alike, adopting families in need to share the magic of the season. He insisted we believe. Randy lived his life for the Lord,discerning the Holy Spirit and spreading Jesus’ love wherever he could, making memorable events for all through church, community plays and events. He could hardly wait for the day he would meet Jesus and often told others what a joyous day that will be for him. He encouraged all to not fear death and to live with a heart like Jesus. He was a great comfort and blessing to his blood family, his new family with Delaine, his friends, and his church family.

Left to cherish Randy's memory are his wife, Delaine; his children, Kipp James and wife, Christina of Tigard, Oregon; Chelsea McNally and husband, Chuck of Waverly, Iowa; Allison Meester and husband, Neil of Parkersburg, Iowa; 12 grandchildren, Randi Kay (Kyle) Cook; Dylan James; Dalton (Jokabed) James; Sophie James; Patrick (Staci) McNally; Alexis (Justin) Kibbie; Joseph McNally; Tyler McNally; Gabriel Santoiemma; Michael Santoiemma; Jacob (Elizabeth) Russow; Alexis Russow; Carlee and Lexi Meester; 6 greatgrandchildren, Johnny, June and Jack Cook; Jayanni and Kahlea James; Mathias Russow; brother, Tony James and his wife, Donna of Altoona, Iowa; niece, Heather (Andrew) Payne and Henry of Overland Park, Kansas. Delaine’s children and grandchildren, Joel Jacobson of Graettinger; Jodi and husband, Wes McMains, Jenna, Jacob and Ava of Owatanna, Minnesota; Jason and Dana Jacobson, Cade, Kyan and Jett of Emmetsburg; Josh Jacobson and daughter, Jacy of Graettinger.

He has been preceded in death by his parents and wife, Cindy.

A service was held Friday, January 8, 2021 at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Estherville. Interment at St. Paul's of South Walnut Cemetery, Graettinger.

(Source: Henry-Olson Funeral Home, Estherville, Iowa.)


Palo Alto Obituaries maintained by Cathy Joynt Labath.
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