James Dean Merschman
James Dean Merschman was born on April 14, 1954 at Clearwater County Memorial Hospital to parents Eugene and Gloria (Ferrie) Merschman. The youngest of three boys, he was baptized and confirmed at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Bagley. He attended Bagley Public Schools and graduated with the Class of 1972. Jim completed one year of Carpentry at Bemidji Vo-Tech before working with Oswald Hanson building houses in the Bagley area.
Jim was united in marriage to his high school sweetheart, Janey Louise Merseth, on June 22, 1974 at Concordia Lutheran Church. Together, they volunteered in the husband-and-wife program under delayed entry in January of 1975. Jim began active duty in the Army on April 28, 1975 and flew from Fargo to Fort Ord, California for BCT (Basic Combat Training). After basic training, he attended 16 weeks of AIT (Advanced Individual Training) at the US Army Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, Alabama. Graduating from AIT as an Air Traffic Controller, he and his wife traveled to Frankfurt Germany on Thanksgiving Day 1975. He began his tour at the 14th Aviation Headquarters in Schwabisch Hall, Germany. He was rated as a Radar technician at that airfield before being transferred to Pirmasens Airfield, where he was a 93H10, Tower Operator. E4 Merschman was honorably discharged on April 19, 1978.
After his military service, he returned to Bagley and was a partner in Hanson and Merschman Construction before he purchased a convenience store in 1982 from his in-laws. Jim owned and operated Merschman Corner Store as well as being a substitute mail carrier. He was employed full-time by the United States Postal Service as a rural carrier in May of 1988 and closed the store. Before retiring on January 25, 2014, Jim was honored as a member of the Million Mile Club – managing to deliver mail for over thirty years without a collision.
After a ten-month battle with pancreatic cancer, James Dean Merschman entered eternal rest with his Heavenly Father on January 9, 2020. He is survived by his family: wife Jane; daughter Janelle (Mark) Speerschneider and Charlotte; daughter Janice (Tom) Hawkins, Taya, Paityn and Conner; and son Jared (Kim) Merschman, Emma and Owen.
With military honors by the Irvin Blix Post #16, he was laid to rest at Concordia Lutheran Cemetery in Eddy Township on January 13, 2020. Blessed be his memory.