James Harvey Seward was born December 2, 1926 to Harvey and Ester Seward on a small farm in Harrold County, South Dakota.
He began his eternal journey with the Lord at the age of 97 on December 13, 2023 at home with family.
As a child, he and his siblings helped work the family farm. He attended small country schools from kindergarten through third grade.
His remaining school years were attended in Agar, South Dakota. He was active in band, glee club, annual staff, he was his Junior Class secretary, and he played and lettered in basketball.
James graduated from Agar High School on May 7, 1944. After high school, he worked on the family farm and other farms in the area for two years.
Having grown up during the great depression, he knew what it was at a young age to work hard and contribute all to help the family survive.
James joined the United States Army on October 2, 1946 and went through basic training at Fort Lewis, Washington, after which he was deployed to Otsu, Japan, near Kyoto in December 1946 for the 35th infantry regiment RHQ.
He was an M-1 rifle expert and bandsman for officers and military personnel.
He received decorations and citations of the World War II Victory medal and the Army of occupation medal Japan.
James Seward private first class was honorably discharged on February 16, 1948 and received a typed letter from President Harry S. Truman for his service to his country.
After the service, he returned to Agar and hired out to help local farmers until taking a job with the Chicago North Western Railroad.
In 1950, he went to telegraphy school in Omaha, Nebraska. After completion in 1954, he moved to Winnemucca, Nevada.
He continued what would be his forever career with the Southern Pacific Railroad. Here he met and married Mary Jane Thompson on July 22, 1957 and became a family of 4 with her two children, Pam and Mike. Together, they welcomed two more children, Jim and Betty to complete their family.
James became a member of the Civil Air Patrol in Winnemucca from 1957 to 1961.
He remained in Winnemucca until his career transferred him to Thorn, Nevada from 1974 to 1976, then Battle Mountain Nevada from 1976 to 1978 and a last transfer to Lovelock, Nevada in 1979 where he remained and retired after 38 years of dedicated work for the Railroad.
He then took his love for travel and made his way to Australia, New Orleans, Washington D.C., a cruise to the Caribbean and many other short adventures.
In 2002, he returned to Winnemucca to be closer to his family and continued to travel with them.
He loved seafood, visiting historical sites, visiting all D.C. had to offer; the Korean Memorial, Monuments, JFK burning of the torch, changing of the guards, Arlington Cemetery,
The Smithsonian, the Ford Theater and all the culture.
History was a favorite, he loved a good game of Pitch (never turning one down), board games, camping, country drives, watching a good old Western (he loved Alf, Mash and Don Knotts) and having drinks with friends.
Dad was a dedicated father and a quiet man with a witty personality, a book of knowledge and a love for life.
He would say “Do what you can, the best you can and let the rest go”.
He fought for life with few complaints, played his pump pedal organ and got his last drivers license at 93 years old.
He gave his life to Christ at 96, and fought very hard to get to and celebrate his 97th Birthday with his family on December 2, 2023.
I will keep you wrapped in my heart until we are together again, Dad. I love you.
In memory of an aging loved one, talk about Jesus, give them your time, hugs, engage in conversation and never underestimate their knowledge or personal history from their lives.
In honoring his wishes no services will be held. Family will take him on his final earthly travel.
A special thank you to Angie of Angie’s Angels, who gave so much more of herself than could be expected, to Vanessa and Esther for their sincere compassion.
Little Bug whose hugs always brought a smile to Mr. James’ face and heart. Hospice care and caregivers who provide a difficult and necessary service, and Barb and Susan who always asked about how Jim was doing.
To my family; Ken, for all his extra help, Mom, who remained a friend to Dad until the very end, and Janette, Jacey, Natalie and Gary who gave us strength and love.
Jim is survived by his daughter, Betty J. (Ken) Roeder. His grandchildren, Christina Johnson, Jacob (Melinda) Roeder, Carl (Susann) Roeder, Haley (Brandon) Ledesma, Travis Thomson and Jason Seward.
His great-grandchildren, Kylie (Gary), Kayla, Steven, James, Hanna, Lucas, Ashley, Autumn, Jacey, Natalie and Teagan. And his great-great grandchildren, Gary, Zayden, Ava and Colorado.
As well as many other nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Harvey and Ester Seward. His brother, Sherman Seward, his sisters, Zona LaRosh and Shirley Dunn. His children, Pamela de Vilbiss, Michael Thompson and Jim Seward Jr. And his nephews, Tim Dunn and Seward LaRosh.