Published 12:00 am Friday, December 11, 2009
James H. Clasen, 81, of Austin died Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009 at St. John’s Lutheran Home in Albert Lea.
Jim was born May 13, 1928 in St. Paul, Minn. to Harold and Blanche (Ebert) Clasen. He graduated from St. Paul Johnson High School in 1946 and from the Department of Mortuary Science at the University of Minnesota in 1950. He served his apprenticeship at the Jordan Mortuary prior to serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He returned to Austin in 1952 where he resumed working at the Jordan Mortuary. He bought into partnership in 1958 and became sole owner of Clasen-Jordan Mortuary in 1974. In 1991, Jim’s son, Dave joined him in funeral business. Jim served as a preceptor for the University of Minnesota, Program of Mortuary Science providing practicum students with resident training at Clasen-Jordan Mortuary. In 1978, he purchased the Adams Funeral Home, Adams, Minn. Jim received recognition from the Minnesota Department of Health for 50 years of licensure in funeral service at the 2002 Minnesota Funeral Directors Association convention.
Jim was united in marriage to H. Jean Evans on June 25, 1955 at Christ Episcopal Church.
Upon retirement, Jim and Jean enjoyed traveling and spending summers at their cabin in Crosslake, Minn. with family and friends. Jim enjoyed attending the opera, reading, playing cards, especially bridge and cribbage, and sharing wonderful stories.
Jim was proud to be a resident of Austin and was involved in many organizations including Elks Lodge #414, Fidelity Lodge #39 AF & AM, Osman Temple Shrine, Austin Post #91 American Legion, Olaf B. Damm Post #1216 Veterans of Foreign Wars, past member of Austin Jaycees, Cotillion Dance Club, past president of the Austin Lions Club, served on the Board of Directors for Security Bank and was a faithful member of Christ Episcopal Church.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Virginia Bickell, brother Richard Clasen, infant brother Robert and infant sister Susan.
Jim is survived by his wife, Jean Clasen, Austin; children, Julie (Geri Estvanik) Clasen, Berwyn, Ill., Melanie Burke, Duluth, Minn., David (Leanne) Clasen, Austin; grandchildren, Jeffrey (Karen) Clasen, Alexandra Clasen, Samuel Clasen, Seth Clasen, Isaac Clasen; five great-granddaughters; sister and brother-in-law, Jeanne (Donald) Karwoski, St. Paul, Minn.; sister-in-law, Delores Clasen, White Bear Lake, Minn.; nieces, nephews and cousins.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009 at Christ Episcopal Church with the Venerable Ben Scott, the Rev. Lynn Adwell and the Rev. Diana Rogers officiating. Interment will be in Oakwood Cemetery in Austin. Visitation will be at Clasen-Jordan Mortuary on Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 to 10:45 a.m. at the funeral home. There will be no reviewal at the church.
Organist will be Gretchen Zinsli; vocalists will be Peter and Cassie Walker; and violinist will be Elizabeth Unseth.