James' services will be live streamed on our website below starting shortly before each service: Funeral Service
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James Willis Schlenker, 92, Fargo, ND passed away Friday, March 19, 2021 at Sanford Hospice House with his daughter by his side. James was born January 4, 1929 to Albert and Edith (Edinger) Schlenker in Woodworth, North Dakota. James graduated from Woodworth High School in 1946. He attended Bottineau College from 1946-1948 before serving in the United States Navy from 1948-1952 during the Korean Conflict. He also attended NDSU in Fargo from 1954-1955. He married Minda Martha Thompson on May 28, 1955 at the American Lutheran Church in Woodworth. Minda passed away from cancer on July 1, 1990. They have one daughter, Tyann. He worked at Gambles in Jamestown. James and Minda owned and operated the Woodworth Hardware Store from 1956-1968. He worked as a rural route mail carrier in Woodworth for several years. He also worked in Arvada, CO for B & B Electric from 1967-1968 with Bill Buesser. He worked for the Fargo Post Office from 1968-1991, retiring after 37 years. In 1991, he started working as a grounds man at the Ponderosa Golf Course in Glyndon. James retired from the Ponderosa Golf Course in 2010. He was a charter member of the American Legion Rice Deede Post #204 in Woodworth. He was a life member of AMVET Post #7 in Fargo since 1990. He was also a life member of the Fargo VFW and DAV in Fargo. He was a 40/8 member in Jamestown since 1962, later transferring to the 40/8 in Fargo. He was the past commander to the American Legion Rice Deede Post #204 in Woodworth as well as the AMVETS Post #7 in Fargo. He was also the Past Commander for the Department of AMVET North Dakota from 2004-2005. (James and Tyann were AMVET Department Commander and President the same year, making history for the AMVETS as a Father/Daughter had never held these offices at the same time.) He also served as the Chef de Gare for the 40/8 in Fargo. He was on the AMVET Color Guard and was an active member of the American Legion Color Guard in Woodworth. He volunteered at the Fargo VA Hospital and served as the AMVET Department VAVS Deputy at the VA Hospital. He was a member of Hope Lutheran Church. He was proud to attend the WDAY Honor Flight to Washington D.C. as a Korean Conflict Veteran. James is survived by his daughter, Tyann of Fargo; dog, Zeke; sister, Janice Buesser, Arvada, CO; brothers, Leland “Pete” Schlenker, Fargo, Arley (Naom) Schlenker, Fargo, sisters-in-law, Ruth Krueger, Fargo and Sally Thompson, Lakeville and many nieces and nephews. James was preceded in death by his wife Minda, his parents, Albert and Edith Schlenker, brother, Robert, brother-in-law, Bill Buesser, sister, Ardith “Bunny” Fandrich, sister-in-law, Joyce Schlenker and brothers-in-law, Lloyd “Fred” Fandrich and Willard Krueger and special niece, Karen Johnson “Minda’s Brat.” James Video Tribute can be viewed below:

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  1. My uncle James, what a great man! I’ve known him all my life. My family spent many days and nights at the Schlenkers. So many fond memories of holidays and card nights. And weekends in Woodworth, ND with all my cousins, aunts, uncles and grandpa & grandma. Thompsons, Clarks, Schlenkers and Kruegers. James was a very kind man and always willing to help a person out. He was an avid hunter and outdoorsman along with his brothers. James was great Veteran as well, he marched with the best of us, right up until recently. And who knew he was a bean bag champion! So grateful to have spent so much time with this man. RIP SAILOR /+\

  2. May he eat in eternal peace. Tyann, my heart is with you during this difficult time. James was in my life as a young child. I’m proud to say he was a great friend of my grandpa Arnold. He was always so kind, happy & gentle. One of my most favorite memories is sitting on his lap while they played cards on the farm. James also taught me how to shuffle a deck of cards. Seems like an easy task but for me it felt impossible. His patience, demeanor and encouraging words kept me practicing and sure enough I learned. Was so proud to show him when he came back from hunting. I still sit around that kitchen table with my family to this day. Thank you James for being a great friend to my family and for the sweet memories. Love you.

  3. Tyann, I loved your dad. He was like my second dad. He was one of a kind. Without a doubt one of the nicest people I have ever met. I’m very sorry for your loss. Wasn’t he wonderful while he was here? God bless you and give you peace.

  4. Jim was one our valued employees at the Ponderosa, never late for work and he really enjoyed keeping the fairways mowed and in good condition and if it was raining and he was not mowing he would always find things to do. Thanks for the good work old friend.

  5. Arley,

    My sympathy to you on the loss of your brother. You guys sure have longevity going for you.

    Spencer Hjelle
    Life Support, 1970-1991

  6. My Dear Brother I LOVE YOU DEARLY!!! You will Always be in my heart forever and our connection will never fade. So enjoyed all our time we spent together , the trips to Colorado, Branson Missouri and South Dakota Always Loved to come home to visit and recall all the memories we both shared.
    Tyann, I love you Dearly. Love Aunt Janice

    Our hearts are full of love for you Uncle James and broken because we will miss you immensely but then again you will never be far from our hearts, Ever. Your fun loving laughter and smile will be etched in our memories. I picture you getting on the floor to play with Maria, taking her to the Children’s Museum and Zoo, helping her with Math problems, that new math, you teaching her the right way (Old Math). Our trip to South Dakota with you and Tyann , going to Dinosaur park walking all the stairs to the top! I don’t know who had the biggest smile on their face You or Maria. When You took her to Dairy Queen, she was about 4 and you got ice cream cones for you and her and hers was the size of her head . Dave has fond memories of the visits when you would come to Colorado, he will especially remember the fun and laughter of your 80th Birthday party! Great Memories. You were always there for us and I will never forget that YOU GAVE THE BEST HUGS! YOU ARE THE BEST UNCLE EVER!

    Tyann, Your in our thoughts and Prayers, I can feel your Sorrow, Our Daddies’ mean the world to us!!!
    Love you Tina Dave Maria

  7. Tyann, I was so sorry to hear about your dad’s passing. Greg happened to see his obituary online yesterday. We are still out of town. I always enjoyed visiting with your dad. He will be greatly missed by many people. My heart goes out to you during this difficult time.

  8. I always admired and respected Uncle James, truth be told I always saw him more of a grandfather than a great-uncle. When we would make summer trips to North Dakota he would always make sure that I wasn’t bored. I have very fond memories of him taking me to the playground, the museum, the buffalo monument, the pool, and most of all to Dairy Queen. We always had to get Ice cream, he always made me feel special as a kid by taking me to Dairy Queen. When I got older I would send money in birthday cards so that he could get ice cream on me. Uncle James will forever be one of my favorite people. I am so thankful to have had someone as kind, fun-loving, and respectable of a person as him to have been apart of my life. I will forever cherish my time with him and I will always love him.

  9. Rest in peace James. You were kind hearted and always nice to Roger when he stopped to talk to you. He truly liked you.

    Tyann, I’m so very sorry for your loss. No amount of words can comfort you right now. But please know, you are not alone.

    Have beautiful eternal rest now and always James.

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