James “Jim” Nieland

James “Jim” Nieland

Jim NielandJames “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.

9 thoughts on “James “Jim” Nieland”

  1. Daktronics extends our deepest sympathy to the family, friends, and coworkers of Jim Nieland, who passed away on Friday, 10 May.

    Jim joined Daktronics when the Redwood Falls facility opened in 2007, and continued as a quality/test engineer in that location for 11 years before retiring in September 2018. Jim was a great coworker with a wealth of knowledge and experience that served him well – he never turned away from a challenge, and was excellent at breaking down issues and understanding all perspectives. Jim approached his job in a way that helped people get their work done, making himself available day and night to support the people and production lines in Redwood Falls. He was a great mentor and an excellent engineer who loved his family.

    We appreciate Jim’s many contributions to Daktronics during his time here, and we know he will be missed by many friends both in the factory and in the Redwood Falls community.

  2. I first met Jim when I was employed at Zytec. I worked the 2nd shift and Jim was our “oncall” tech when we needed help. He was always willing to come to our aid when we would call him in, even when it was time for him to be in bed. He was such a sweetheart.
    Prayers for his family.

  3. I had the privilege of knowing and working with Jim for 30 years. No problem was too big or too small for Jim, he was the go to engineer to solve our most challenging problems. Jim enjoyed many aspects of his work, he would tell you that he took much pride in getting the most out of our automated equipment. He valued his coworkers as family and they valued him. He was steadfast, knowledgeable and well-respected by all. He will be missed dearly. My deepest sympathies to Jim’s family, friends and coworkers.

  4. nancy Grejtak

    While I did not personally know Jim I worked at RVHS with Joni and had both of his daughters as students. My condolences to them all. I recently loss my wonderful Butch. I know what a terrible void losing someone you love is. Mandy and Jim will be together.

  5. Michelle Anderson

    I grew up with Jim’s youngest sister, Jane. Jim was always the sweetest big brother and proved to us that there are good guys out there! I am blessed to have known him and been a part of the Nieland family for over 40 years. Joni, Josh, Nicole and granddaughters, you have all been in my prayers. Mary, Judy, Joe, and Jane and families, thank you all for everything and taking me into your family as a young girl. You are all in my thoughts and prayers and in my heart! Thank you, God, for your gift of a good man … Jim will be remembered forever!

  6. Randy & Ellen Picka

    Joni, Josh, and Nicole our deepest sympathies to you. We are very sorry for your loss of such a great husband and father. He will be in our prayers.

  7. To the family of Jim,
    We send our deepest sympathy to you and pray that The Comforter will uphold and sustain you in the days to come. Thank you for the pictures posted of Jim as a grandfather of those beautiful granddaughters. Being a classmate in the SHS Class of ‘75 together and off to the School of Mines that fall, I had the utmost respect and admiration for Jim. He was very smart, kind, fun and great sense of humor. Thinking of you gathering together today to celebrate his life and the legacy of love he leaves for his family.
    Mike and Shelley (Greseth) Heil

  8. David Hoffman (Smiles)

    Joni and Family
    Our sincere condolences on the loss of your husband and father Jim – Lupus. I knew him as a brother and unfortunately did not get a chance to re-acquant with you and Jim since we departed SDSMT in 1979. Jim was “Lupus”, I was “Smiles” – both acquired from the fraternity brothers. I can still picture Lupus with his pledge hat on in the middle of ‘hell’ week doing his part as always to help his brothers maintain a level of balance during our initiation! Jim was sincere, loyal, reliable, hard working and absolutely the kind of friend that we all longed to have in our new brotherhood at Delta Sig. I’ve read and re-read the story that you have shared concerning Jim’s desire to manage his challenges silenty w/o making an impact on others. I can step back 40 years and picture that kind of approach from him. He was always non-assuming but always there to help anyone who needed support. I am pleased to hear of the tremendous family that you and Jim raised and enjoyed and wish all of you peace as you celebrate Jim’s life.


    David and Dianne Hoffman

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