James E. (Jim) Kitzmann, 80, Mandan, formerly of rural Oliver County, passed away the morning of January 22, 2023 at Miller Pointe in Mandan. Burial services will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, May 19, 2023 at the North Dakota Veteran’s Cemetery in Mandan. A celebration of his life will follow at the Mandan Eagles Club. Please make any memorials to Mandan Golden Age, Mandan Eagles or charity of your choice.
Jim was born to Edward and Anna (Henke) Kitzmann in Bismarck, ND on January 18, 1943. He grew up on the family farm south of Hannover, ND. He attended school in Hannover until the 8th grade. He then attended New Salem High School and graduated in 1961.
After high school, he enlisted in the US Navy. He completed his basic training in San Diego, CA as well as his first radio school assignment. He was then transferred to continue his radio school assignment in Norfolk, VA and earned the rank of Radioman 3rd Class. From there, he was transferred to the US Naval Communication Station in Honolulu, HI where he completed the course of Communication Cryptographic Procedures. He spent the rest of his naval service in Hawaii and was discharged after four and a half years from San Francisco Treasure Island US Naval Station in 1966.
When he returned to North Dakota, he began farming with his father and eventually on his own. He raised cattle, sheep and various crops. During that time, he also became a member of Carpenters Union 1901. He spent his career with the union helping to construct the power plants in Beulah, Stanton and other locations.
He was an avid deer hunter and spent many hours at the sport and had many trophies and tales of his experiences. Also, during the years he worked at the power plants, he loved to fish after work and earned several ND Game and Fish “Whopper Badges”.
He was a life long collector of First American artifacts and was extremely knowledgeable about their history. It remained his passion until his death.
He was also a talented and meticulous woodworker and made many things from the tiniest trinkets to complete kitchen cabinets. He was generous with these things and made many gifts for those lucky enough to receive them.
He loved playing pinochle and whist and so enjoyed playing with all the partners and friends at Mandan Golden Age.
Jim is survived by his wife, JoAnn, his sons, Brad (Leaha), Leeds, ND and Brian, Sheridan, WY, his grandchildren, Clay and Kiera Kitzmann, his brother, Jerome (Sharon), New Salem, ND and his sister, Edana, Minot, ND. He is also survived by his step daughters, Greta (Rob) Knoll, Mandan, Rebecca (Laprell) Jackson, Bismarck and step grandchildren, Kenny (Sophanno) Knoll, Devan (Kaydee) Gross, Miranda (Michael) Morey, Kenidee Snider, Maggie Knoll and Laprell Jackson, Jr.
He was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents and numerous aunts and uncles.