Jim (James) D. Olsbo, 81, longtime resident of Fargo, North Dakota, passed away on December 6, 2017 at Manorcare in Fargo. Jim was born on November 25, 1936 to Marie (Manthey) Olsbo and Clarence (“Moxie”) Olsbo in Madison, SD. The family moved from Madison to Fargo, ND in 1938, where Jim became a member of the Cardine Club and a 1955 graduate of Shanley High School. In 1945, at just nine years old, Jim lost his most beloved mother to Cancer. His father passed away when Jim was nineteen years of age and was attending business college in Fargo. After finishing college, Jim served briefly in the Air National Guard in 1960, completing basic training at the Lackland Air Base in Texas. Following his discharge, he worked first at the Pioneer Mutual Insurance Company in Fargo as a clerk underwriter and subsequently at the Fargo Veterans’ Administration (VA) Hospital as a secretary. Jim obtained a supervisory position at the VA Hospital and remained there for over a quarter of a century, retiring in 1992. Jim was known to his numerous friends over the years for his gregarious nature, his remarkable kindness and selflessness, and his generosity. Musically inclined like his mother, he played the piano and was an excellent dancer. He especially enjoyed the “Jitterbug”. A natural born historian, Jim loved taking pictures, and he spent countless hours meticulously compiling the histories of the Olsbo, Manthey, and Palli families. He loved classic movies as well as music. He was a member of the Nativity Catholic Church in Fargo. Jim is survived by his cousins, Rosemary Palli of Bloomington, MN, Marilyn (Edward) Blegen of Mesa, AZ, Eileen (Frank) Soreghan of Los Angeles, CA, Robert Manthey of Nebraska, Genevive (Manthey) Tomascha of Madison, SD, Mary Jane (Manthey) Archer of North Carolina, Pauline (Manthey) Popek of Chicago, IL, Carolyn (Manthey) Bowers of Chicago, IL, Patricia (Tom) Anawoski of Sioux Falls, SD, Don (Gloria) Curtis of Denver, Colorado, and Rob (Margie) Olsbo of Blaine, MN, and by his Godson, William (“Bill”) Blegen. He was preceded in death by his beloved mother Marie, his father Clarence, his stepmother Ruth (Howard) Olsbo, two infant brothers, and by cousins Eugene Palli, Jerry Palli, Bernard Palli, Maxine (Palli) Connelly, Joseph Manthey, Martin Manthey, Mary (Manthey) Coombs, Margaret (Manthey) Hill, Alphonse Manthey, Cyril Manthey, Grace (Manthey) Johnson, Grace Schuster, and Mildred Schuster, as well as by aunts and uncles Joseph and Olivia (Manthey) Schuster, Rose (Manthey) and Jacob Palli, Tony and Carrie (Manthey) Muggli, Clemence and Carrie Manthey, Anthony and Mary Manthey, Ing and Dorothy Olsbo, Les and Florence Curtis, “Spike” and Minerva Speicher, and Art and Edna Johnson. Jim will be honored with a Catholic prayer service at 10:00 am on Monday, December 18 at Boulger funeral home in Fargo. An interment service will subsequently take place at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, December 19 at St. Thomas Acquinas Catholic Cemetery in Madison, SD, where Jim will be laid to rest with his mother and two brothers.

View current weather.

Memories Timeline

View the Timeline


  1. I had the priveledge of visiting him on Sunday before he passed. I had not seen him for many years but he was his old self.When I went into his room I asked if he remembered me. He just kind of looked and then I told him I was the one counting all his jello boxes. He had the biggest smile on his face and laughed. It was the best time for both of us. I told him Perry and I would be back on Sunday and put up some Christmas decorations and he laughed and just a few. That was not to be . He was a great friend of my family and I am so happy I was able to spend some fun time with him.

  2. I was blessed having worked for Jim at the VA for many years. My husband and I both count him as a very good friend, and I always felt he was my mentor in work and life. He was so dear, and he treated all his employees so well. He always had a special Christmas party for us and gave us all Hallmark ornaments as a gift. He was very big hearted, and always treated us all special. We will always remember him with fondness and love.

  3. I am so sorry for the families loss of such a wonderful man. I met Jim while working at the pharmacy and enjoyed all the visits we shared. He was so knowledgeable on many subjects and shared many fond family memories with me . He was an amazing baker and made delicious treats for us. My last visit with Jim is one I will treasure, we had coffee and joined in a sing along ,as music was something he loved. Always the gentleman, he walked me to the door, gave me a big hug and his great smile. I will remember Jim with happiness in my heart.
    Prayers to the family,
    Roxane Tvedten

  4. Jim was my cousin on my Mother’s side side. In our teens he spent a summer with us. After that we communicate by phone a couple of times a years, We seem to be energized by these calls. This last year I tried to call him and the phone response was the phone had been disconnected. When we located him, we sent some old photos, but I’m afraid it was too late. We are so sorry we didn’t communicate sooner. We will miss Jim.

    Don and Gloria Curtis

  5. When I think of Jim Olsbo, I remember the good ole times at the VA Hospital and there is one statement he always reiterated that brings a smile, “No, whiteout on the timecards”! He was a very pleasant man who always had a smile on his face. He made time for everyone who needed his professional direction. RIP Jim!

  6. I very sorry to hear of all are lose. I just heard of are lose in February. My mother was Grace Johnson my sister was Linda Heller . I found about Jim’s passing from Richerd Heller my brother in law. My name is James Johnson from Portland Oregon. My prayers are with the whole family.

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

Sign the Guestbook