James Cherwinka

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 9, 2009

James G. Cherwinka, 75
James Cherwinka, 75, of Cannon Falls, Minn., passed away on June 6, 2009, at the Trinity Care Center in Farmington, Minn., following an brief illness, surrounded by his wife and children.
James George Cherwinka was born on Aug. 28, 1933, in Green Bay, Wis., the son of Dorothy (Guile) and Charlton Cherwinka. His family moved to Antigo, Wis., where he attended school and graduated from Antigo High School. He went on to Lawrence College in Appleton, Wis., to become a draftsman. He was employed by Hayes-Lucas Lumber in Owatonna and Blooming Prairie, Minn. He also worked at Crane Lumber in Austin. James married Muriel (Hansen) at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Austin, on Oct. 20, 1956. They lived in the home Jim built until 1967, then moving to Cannon Falls. He worked for Hellickson Lumber in Wanamingo, Minn., until he opened Tree Stores Lumber Yard in Cannon Falls. He operated the TreeCom truss plant in Cannon Falls until 1980, when he sold the business. He continued to work as a salesman for Structural Component Supply Company, Littfin Lumber, Automated Building Components and Wausau Supply retiring in 2007.
He was a member of the Minnesota National Guard for more than 20 years, reaching the status of captain. He was also a Boy Scout leader while they lived in Austin. James was a member of St. Ansgar’s Lutheran Church, where he served on the church council as chairman and taught Sunday school. He was a member of the Cannon Falls Volunteer Fire Department for 25 years. He served on the Cannon Falls School Board for 21 years, also serving as chairman. He was a member of the Rotary Club, served on the Planning and Zoning Commission, assisted in fundraising for Cannon Falls Education Foundation, and enjoyed playing Santa for the preschool children in Cannon Falls. He was on the Building Commission for 7-Crafts. Most recently he served on the Cannon Falls City Council, and served as treasurer of the Care & Share Foundation and Economics Initiatives of Cannon Falls. James enjoyed watching his grandchildren play sports and going to morning coffee with the “Coffee Crew” in Cannon. His favorite past-times were working in his garden, feeding and watching birds and telling stories and jokes.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Muriel, Cannon Falls; daughter, Kristine (Christopher) Sande, Cannon Falls; son, Brian (Dawn) Cherwinka, Faribault, Minn.; daughter, Gretchen (Hugh “Skip”) Thomson, Sandstone and son, Marcus (Lu Anne) Cherwinka, Golden Valley, Minn. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Brittany (fiance, Ryan Archambault), Ashlee and Kelsey Cherwinka of Faribault; Alex Cherwinka, Rachel, Keith, Kayla and Hunter Sande of Cannon Falls; Claire and Nathan Cherwinka of Golden Valley. Other survivors include his sister, Sandra Herzog; nephews, Judd and Sean Herzog and great-niece, Riley Malak all of Wausau, Wis.
He was preceded in death by son, Steven; parents, Dorothy and Charlton Cherwinka; mother and father-in-law, Edward and Gena Hansen and hisgrandparents.
Jim touched many lives and made a difference in the Cannon Falls community.
Funeral service will be 11 a.m. Friday June 12 at St. Ansgar’s Lutheran Church, 7459 Highway 19 Blvd., Cannon Falls. Visitation will be Thursday, June 11 from 4 to 8 p.m. at St. Ansgar’s Lutheran Church and continue one hour prior to the service at church. Interment will be in the Grandview Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Austin. Memorials are preferred to the Cannon Falls Education Foundation, St. Ansgar’s Lutheran Church or Shepherd’s Center of the Cannon Valley. Arrangements by Lundberg Funeral Home of Cannon Falls.
Pallbearers are Eddie Smith, Dave Vangsness, Gary Eagen, Gerald Husaby, Ed “Bud” Engen, Durwood Iverson, Ernie Sparstad and Greg Anderson.
Honorary Pallbearers are the Cannon Falls Volunteer Fire Department, grandchildren, Sean and Judd Herzog (nephews), Rick Smith and Kevin Smith(godsons), Dean Lukes, Sheldon Lukes and Bill Duncan.