February 25, 2022
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
February 25, 2022
5:30 PM -
A livestream of the service will be viewable below shortly before 5:30PM:
Jim Ebsen passed away on January 11th, 2022, at his home surrounded by his girls and pets. At 11:56PM he drew his last breath, and together, his family opened a window and released him to enter his next journey. It was serene, peaceful and he was forever free of pain.
James Joseph Ebsen was born May 13th, 1941 at St John’s Hospital to Henry (Hank) and Helen Ebsen. He was the youngest of three children.
He lived most of his life in Fargo, ND. He attended Jefferson Elementary School, St. Anthony’s Catholic School, Agassiz Junior High School, and graduated from Fargo Central High School in 1959.
Jim began his college education at the University of North Dakota and later transferred to Moorhead State College. There, he studied speech and English. He was a founding member of The Straw Hat Players and appeared in numerous theatrical productions under the direction of Dr. Delmar J. Hansen. After his college graduation in August of 1965, Jim taught high school English in Mahnomen, MN for two years and then enrolled in graduate school at North Dakota State University. After graduate school, Jim taught and coached speech at Fargo South High School and then later taught English.
In 1977, Jim left education and entered the insurance business. For the next 12 years, he worked as an agent and then a corporate officer at Western States Life Insurance Company. In 1992, Jim opened the first supplemental education business in North Dakota where the goal was to help students do better in school. He also owned and operated Prometric Testing Center during that time. Jim retired in 2010. At that time, his passion for education prompted him to enter the political arena. In 2012, he threw his hat in along with 10 other candidates and ran for a seat on the Fargo School Board. While he may not have won a seat, Jim garnered the most votes of the nonincumbents and thusly ended his political career.
Jim became an avid Bison fan after retirement and was a member of Team Makers. As a season ticket holder, he went to many games up until his illness did not allow him. Additionally, he witnessed many National Championship games in person. One of his dying wishes was to watch the Bison win their 9th National Championship which his wife and daughters were able to help come true.
His Fargo Central High School ‘Midgets’ were forever near and dear to his heart. He was on the reunion committee and was emcee at most of the reunions. He was on the board and was very active in the Fargo Central Alumni Association.
Jim had a memory that had no boundaries and was a stickler for the English language. He had a voracious appetite to learn and could recall dates, events, people, whole poems, song lyrics, or most anything he had previously read or heard out of nowhere. He had a sense of humor that was endless and evident up to his death. Jokes were his specialty, and he was often asked to share certain ones. He was an avid reader and exchanged books with many close friends.
Jim was no stranger to the editors of The Forum. Jim was passionate in his views and was never afraid to voice his opinion. He had many letters to the editor appear in the local paper over the years.
Jim enjoyed the outdoors. He loved to go top speed around Detroit Lakes in his Larson deck boat which he was so proud of. He was a hunter and enjoyed fishing. His hunting trips took him to western North Dakota and Hell’s Canyon in the Snake River Valley Gorge. Gradually, his desire to hunt animals turned into watching animals as he enjoyed the many deer feeding on bird feeders and apples in his backyard. On occasion, turkeys and, on rarer occasion fox or coyote, would delight him as well. He also enjoyed watching the many birds that frequented the bird feeders with that passion rubbing off on his two daughters and their families with the unsaid contest of who would spy what birds first each new season. Jim also enjoyed fishing with his buddies at Devils Lake and often took trips to northern Minnesota. Although, there are some questions as to whether there was more drinking and joke telling than fishing based on the number of fish that came back.
Jim enjoyed animals. The Ebsen household always had pets whether it was a dog, cat, fish or hamsters. His love of animals was also instilled in his daughters and their families with many pets between them.
Jim was very proud of his two daughters, their husbands, his four grandchildren, and all of their accomplishments. His wish was that he would see all four graduate from high school but, unfortunately, that did not happen.
Jim met Elaine (Cookie) Loock in 1965 while both were attending Moorhead State College. They married on June 18th, 1966, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Moorhead, MN. They lived in Fargo and built a house on the Red River in Chrisan Estates south of Fargo in 1971. In April of 2009, their home was inundated with water and lost to the Red River. They later found a home in North Fargo where Jim spent his final days.
Jim leaves behind his wife of fifty-five years Elaine (Cookie) Loock Ebsen, two daughters, Elizabeth (Jay) Torguson and Jessica (Jim) Kendall, four grandchildren, Luke and Anna Torguson, Jocelyn and James Kendall, brother, H. Lee Ebsen, sister-in-law Dalice Ebsen and many nephews and nieces. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Hank and Helen Ebsen, sister and brother-in-law Joan and Val Veitenheimer.
A memorial in Jim’s honor will be at Boulger Funeral Home on Friday, February 25th, 2022 with visitation starting at 4:30 followed by a Memorial Service at 5:30. Lastly, Jim’s final request is a birthday celebration on what would have been his 81st birthday on May 13, 2022. This event will be at the Sanctuary Events Center in Fargo, ND on Friday, May 13, 2022 from 4PM to 8PM. Bring your stories, jokes, and joyful memories of Jim to be shared.
The Ebsen family would like to express our gratitude and thank Dr. Craig Eckfeldt, Karen and staff at the U of M Cancer Center, Essentia Clinic Oncology Department, Essentia Hospital Infusion Center, the Hope Lodge in Minneapolis, and Hospice of the Red River Valley.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in honor of Jim to Hospice of the Red River Valley or the Fargo Moorhead Community Theater.