James “Jim” Karl Nieland age 62 of Redwood Falls passed away on Friday, May 10, 2019 at the Methodist Hospital in Rochester after a series of unfortunate events following a lengthy battle with liver disease. Funeral services will be held at 4:00 p.m. Friday, May 17 at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Redwood Falls. Visitation will be held from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Thursday AT THE CHURCH and will continue one hour prior to services on Friday. Private burial will be held at a later date. Stephens Funeral Service – Redwood Valley Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
James (Jim) Karl Nieland was born on January 15, 1957 in Minneapolis, MN to Karl and Mary (Tasa) Nieland. The family moved to Sisseton, SD in 1961 where they owned and operated the Holiday Motel and Gas Station. During his childhood, Jim always had a horse and loved going on trail rides. He also enjoyed working on cars, fishing, hunting and helping his cousins and friends with farm work. Jim graduated from Sisseton High School in 1975 and then attended South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, South Dakota. During his freshman year, Jim joined Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity and was given the nickname “Lupus” and after that he was always known as Lupus to his college friends. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1979 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. After graduation he worked for Storage Technology in Louisville, Colorado as a test engineer and later as a robotics engineer. In 1985, he moved to Redwood Falls, Minnesota and worked for Zytec Corporation and used his robotics skills to do automation projects in the plant. He continued to work at the same building as the company transitioned into Artesyn, Emerson and finally Daktronics. He retired in August 2018. In the fall of his senior year of college, during freshman initiation activities, he met a lovely freshman engineering student, Joni Lange. Jim and Joni were married on May 23, 1981 in Sioux Falls, SD. They lived in Colorado for four years and then moved to Redwood Falls. Jim and Joni had three children, Joshua, Mandy and Nicole. When the children were young the family loved to go camping. They had an RV and went on extended vacations traveling to all 48 contiguous states and all the southern provinces of Canada. The greatest sadness in Jim’s life was when his daughter Mandy was killed in a snowmobile accident in January 2006. The greatest joys of his life were his wife Joni, his children and most recently his three granddaughters, Alexis, Callie and Emily. His favorite activity was going fishing and “catching little fish with the grandkids.” He was a great baby holder and was happiest when at least one and sometimes as many as three of the girls were sitting on his lap. Jim was diagnosed with liver failure in February 2014. He had relatively good health for the next few years but his health started to deteriorate rapidly in 2018. After a few serious illnesses, which also led to kidney failure, he finally received a liver and kidney transplant on May 16, 2018. The liver transplant was a success, but the kidney never functioned and so he continued on dialysis and was relisted for a kidney transplant. This spring he developed a virus that grew out of control due to his suppressed immune system. The virus eventually caused pneumonia and lung failure.
Jim is survived by his wife Joni; son Joshua of Safety Harbor, FL; daughter and son-in-law Nicole and Joe Huseby of Redwood Falls; granddaughters: Alexis, Callie and Emily Huseby all of Redwood Falls; mother Mary Nieland of Fargo, ND; sisters: Judy (Tom) McCormick and Jane Greminger both of Fargo, ND; brother Joe (Treva) Nieland of Rapid City, SD; mother-in-law Jo Krager of Redwood Falls and numerous relatives and friends. Jim was preceded in death by his daughter Mandy Nieland, father Karl Nieland, maternal grandparents Carl and Viola Tasa and paternal grandparents Henry and Caroline Nieland.