Obituary for James Dimick

James Dimick, age 91, of Northfield, passed away on Monday, December 2, 2019 at the Northfield Retirement Center. James Roger Dimick was born July 9, 1928, on the family farm in Almena, Wisconsin, to Richard and Florence (Fornell) Dimick. He graduated from Barron High School in 1946 and joined the USMC afterwards, serving with the 2nd Amphibious Battalion out of Camp LeJeune. After his honorable discharge in 1948, Jim attended St. Cloud State University, graduating in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science in physical education and biology. He later earned his master’s degree from the University of Minnesota. Jim married […]

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James Dimick, age 91, of Northfield, passed away on Monday, December 2, 2019 at the Northfield Retirement Center.

James Roger Dimick was born July 9, 1928, on the family farm in Almena, Wisconsin, to Richard and Florence (Fornell) Dimick. He graduated from Barron High School in 1946 and joined the USMC afterwards, serving with the 2nd Amphibious Battalion out of Camp LeJeune. After his honorable discharge in 1948, Jim attended St. Cloud State University, graduating in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science in physical education and biology. He later earned his master’s degree from the University of Minnesota. Jim married his high school sweetheart, Nancy Hopkins, at the Methodist Church in Cumberland, Wisconsin, on June 10, 1950. Jim spent 15 years teaching and coaching at high schools in Wisconsin and Minnesota, developing ten championship teams, before joining the faculty of St. Olaf College in 1967. He coached the St. Olaf baseball team to 14 conference championships and a record of 587-320-15. The team was selected to the NCAA Division III Regional Tournament 14 times. Jim was the coach of the College All-Star Baseball Team that toured Alaska and Korea in 1979. He served on the U.S. National Baseball Team staff in 1989 on a tour of the U.S., Cuba, and Puerto Rico. He conducted baseball clinics all over the world and the U.S. Jim was a past president of the American Baseball Coaches Association and served on its board of directors for many years. He was awarded the Minnesota Baseball Outstanding Achievement Award. Both the MIAC Coach of the Year and the Minnesota Retired Coach Award are named in his honor. St. Olaf retired his number (32) in 1997.

Jim was called to be a coach. He knew how to lead the players he coached to be honorable, hard-working young men. He was even more gifted as a husband, dad and grandfather, loving his family with faithfulness, gentleness, and devotion. He was a good friend, a delightful storyteller, and a servant of God. He will be missed by so many whose lives were immeasurably gifted by his presence.

As Jim himself said: “I would rather be remembered as a good father, a good churchman, and a caring coach who was more concerned about the contributions to society by my athletes than by the trophies left standing on the shelves.

”Survivors include his children Mary (René) Clausen of Moorhead; Jim Jr. (Martha Holton) of Minneapolis; Betsey (Mark) Hofeldt of Dayton, OH; Dan (Cahrene) of Northfield; Jill (Ralph Pribble) Oliveri of St. Paul; John (Meghan) of Northfield; 13 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; other relatives and many friends. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Nan in 2010.

Jim’s family would like to express their gratitude to the fine staff of the Northfield Retirement Community, the Allina Hospice team, and his doctors: Gary Carlson, Mark Labenski, and Maxwell Leither. The family also gives thanks for Pastor Tim McDermott and the community of Bethel Lutheran Church in Northfield where he belonged as a member for 52 years.

A gathering of remembrance will occur in the Black and Gold Ballroom of Buntrock Commons on Friday, January 17, 2020 between the hours of 4 and 8 p.m. A celebration of Jim’s life will be held on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at Boe Chapel on the St. Olaf College campus at 10 a.m. Interment will take place at Ebenezer Cemetery in rural Almena, Wisconsin, next to Nan, in the spring. Memorials may be directed to Bethel Lutheran Church of Northfield, MN or the St. Olaf College baseball program.

Arrangements are with the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home. www.northfieldfuneral.com

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Funeral

January 18, 2020 - 10:00 AM

Boe Memorial Chapel - St. Olaf College
, Get Directions

Visitation

January 17, 2020 - 4:00 PM - 8:00P.M.

Black & Gold Ballroom - St. Olaf College
, Get Directions

3 Comments

  1. Steve Koestner

    When we lived in Northfield we attended Bethel Church as a family. When my father passed away, Jim reached out to me to express his concern. His compassion was remarkable. It was like talking to my own father who had just died. He offered to take me out to breakfast to just talk things through. His kindness was unmatched. I will always remember Jim a large man with an even bigger soul. Thanks Jim for your arm around my shoulders when I needed it most !!

    Reply
  2. Connie DeGrote

    Jim was a great person in so many ways and to so many! The world is so much better because of what he gave to it.
    I am sorry we will be unable to attend his memorial service.

    Reply
  3. Tom Moriarty

    I met Coach Dimick at St Olaf field when St Scholastica played there in early 2000’s. I mentioned I knew his son Jim from his days in LeSueur. He asked about my son, what position he played and the CSS team in general. Later I ran into him at a Dundas Dukes game when his grandson was playing. He enjoyed learning how many of the players were doing, not just in baseball. Gracious, kind, considerate man. Baseball gave him an insight to many individuals who played the game, and his joy was how the game was played by the players he had coached.
    My sympathies to the family.

    Reply

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