John Ness

John Ness

1928 - 2018

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Obituary of John Ness

John was born May 10, 1928 in Mankato, Minnesota to Arthur Ness and Estella (Sandberg) Ness.

John attended grade school in Springfield and Butterfield schools before moving to Mankato in 1944.  In 1946 he graduated from Mankato High School.

John joined the U.S. Army in September 1946 spending sixteen months in OTSU and Osaka, Japan, on Occupation Duty with the 25th Infantry Division, Headquarters Company. 

After the service he received Honorable Discharge on January 17, 1948.  On August 28, 1948 he married Barbara Greenly at Zion Presbyterian Church, Mankato.  They were married 69 years.

John attended Mankato State College from 1948-1952 for Business Accounting, where he also lettered four years for basketball.

John played semi-pro baseball from 1948 to 1957 in the Southern Minnesota League (Mankato), the Iowa State League (Bancroft), Western Minnesota League (St. James) and 212 League (Gaylord).  He also later played for Godahl and Trimont.

John was an avid hunter, fisherman and golfer.  He enjoyed managing fastpitch softball teams (James Gang and Happy Chef) and loved attending any sporting event.  He officiated basketball for over 20 years and football for over 30 years at the high school and junior college level.  He greatly enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren play sports.  His other loves were winters in Palm Springs, California, summers at the lake in Alexandria and listening and dancing to music.

In 1952 he began working for Myron Hoffmann Accounting, and in 1955 became the City Clerk for the City of St. James.  He purchased the Ed Mutsch Agency in 1960.  In 1988 John sold the agency to his son Jay.   John served nine years on the Minnesota State Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) Board as a Director.

John was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in St. James where he served as an Elder and Trustee.  He was a member of the Libanus Masonic Lodge 96, Zuriah Shrine, American Legion Post 37, VFW Post 1914 where he served 33 years as a quartermaster, Charter Member of the St. James Lion Club and served on the boards of First National Bank and S-T Industries.

Survived by wife Barb, daughter Linda (Bob) Kline, son Jay (Cathy) Ness, daughter Pam (Dale) Runge, brother Terry (Pam) Ness, 9 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild. Proceeded in death by his parents Arthur (Erna) Ness and Estella (Lloyd) Tabbert and brother Norman Ness.


Visitation 1

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Sturm Funeral Home, St. James Chapel
906 - 10th Ave. S.
St. James, Minnesota, United States

Service Information

3:00 pm
Thursday, June 14, 2018
First Presbyterian Church, St. James
706 3rd Ave. S.
St. James, Minnesota, United States

Interment Information

Mt. Hope Cemetery, St. James
S. CR 27
St. James, Minnesota, United States
Military Honors provided by the St. James Veterans Honor Guard.


Lunch and fellowship following burial.