James McNamara

James McNamara, age 97, of Naples, FL and formerly of Olivia, died Tuesday, April 16, 2024 at Bayshore Memory Care, Naples, FL.  Mass of Christian Burial will be on Friday, April 26, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Olivia with Rev. Joe Steinbeisser as celebrant.  Burial is in St. Aloysius Cemetery.  Visitation will be on Thursday, April 25, from 4 to 6 p.m. with a prayer service at 6 p.m. at Dirks-Blem Funeral Home in Olivia and will continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Friday. Memorials are preferred to Olivia Lions Club or Renville County Hospice.  Arrangements are by Dirks-Blem Funeral Service of Olivia.

A live stream of Jim’s service will be available on Friday by clicking on the following link: https://my.gather.app/remember/jim-mcnamara

James John McNamara was born May 2, 1926 at Bird Island, MN to Henry and Ella (Wagemaker) McNamara.  Jim attended grade school at St. Aloysius Catholic School in Olivia and graduated from Olivia High School in 1944.  Jim joined the Army in 1944, serving during WWII. Jim married Cecelia Stuhr on October 6, 1951 at St. Aloysius Catholic Church and they enjoyed 69 years of marriage together. They made their home on the farm in rural Olivia. Jim owned Mac’s Turkey Farm, raising thousands of turkeys from the time he was 12 with his dad until 1961. In 1961, Jim became a Life Insurance Salesman for Equitable Life Insurance Company and in August of 1977 he led the nation in sales. They enjoyed dancing and were part of the Bird Island Ballroom Club; their favorite dance was the “Lindy.”  For over 50 years they were members of Bird Island and Olivia whist card clubs. Jim was active in his community as a member of the Olivia Lions Club and the Santa Claus program for 25 years. He was a storyteller with the ‘gift of gab’ – he was able to strike up a conversation with anyone. In their retirement years they spent the winter at Poinsettia Park in Fort Myers, FL. He and Ceil enjoyed traveling throughout their lives. Jim and Ceil were faithful members of St. Aloysius Catholic Church where Jim served as a lector and a member of Knights of Columbus. He instilled in his children the importance of trusting in God.

Jim is survived by his four children: Kathleen (and Robert) Dant of Naples, FL, Sheila (and Peter) Kienzle of Olivia, Steven (and Lynn) McNamara of Oronoco, and Thomas McNamara of Olivia; his six grandchildren: Kevin “Mac” Ayers, Sarah (and Mitchell) Mackedanz, Brian (and Lydia) Dant, Jacquelynn (and Paul) Hochsprung, Ashley (and Dan) Bocchi, and Tyler (and Trisha) McNamara; his ten great-grandchildren; his sister, Helen McCormick; and sister-in-law, Mary Ann McNamara.  Jim was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Ceil; his son, Paul; a son in infancy; and his siblings: Larry (Marge) McNamara, Dan McNamara, Jean (Dale) Rolsing, and Marie McNamara; and brother-in-law, John McCormick.

Blessed Be His Memory