James N. Rieth, 82

Published 1:18 pm Friday, May 6, 2022

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James N. Rieth, 82

On May 4, 2022, James Nicholas Rieth of Spicer, MN passed away at home at the age of 82, surrounded by loved ones. Mass of Christian Burial will be on Saturday, May 14, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Olivia with Father Joe Steinbeisser as celebrant. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Visitation will be on Friday, May 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Dirks-Blem Funeral Home in Olivia with a prayer service and sharing memories at 7 p.m. Visitation will continue for one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday.

Jim was born on February 9, 1940 in Muncie, Indiana to Claude and Marjorie (Cahill) Rieth. He graduated from Burris High School in Muncie. He continued his education by attending Purdue University, where Jim obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, Master’s degree in Industrial Administration, and PhD in Agricultural Economics.

On August 12, 1962, he married Lucy Ellen Haubursin. Together, Jim and Lucy had two boys, Douglas and Lee. Lucy preceded her husband in death, passing away on October 20, 2000 at the age of 60.

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On July 4, 2001, Jim married Theresa Maureen Lippert and became a stepfather to four more boys: Gabriel, Jamison, Joshua and Lucas. Together, Jim and Theresa enjoyed traveling and experiencing new places.  Much of Jim’s professional career was spent working for Hormel, which ultimately culminated in him holding the position of President & CEO for Jennie-O Foods, Inc. Jim was a remarkable businessman whose leadership and expertise were instrumental in growing Jennie-O to the largest producer of turkey products in the nation. After retirement in 2000, Jim was an active member of a variety of different business’ governing boards and would periodically teach courses at universities in the US and the UK.

When Jim wasn’t working, he enjoyed boating, fly fishing, vacationing, and hosting friends and family at his lake home. He believed strongly in philanthropy, and some of his favorite organizations to support were the Purdue University rowing crew, the Willmar YMCA, and Camp Olson YMCA in Longville, MN.  Jim was very generous with his time, affection, and encouragement. He strived to be a motivational leader to help those around him achieve their goals, both personal and professional. There was always an open-door policy at his house; he was willing to lend a listening ear, ‘big bubble’ outlook, and humorous one-liners to all that entered. Jim will be remembered for the immeasurable love he had for his family, his vast knowledge, and driven personality.

Jim is survived by his wife, Theresa; sons, Douglas (Juliet) Rieth and Lee (Alissa) Rieth; his stepsons: Gabriel (Trisha) Lippert-Negen, Jamison (Caroline) Lippert-Negen, Joshua (Kelly) Lippert-Negen and Lucas (Meghan) Lippert-Negen; and brother, David (Susan) Rieth; he leaves behind 10 grandchildren, of whom he was exceptionally proud: Ellen and Amy (Douglas and Juliet); Lucy and Owen (Lee and Alissa); Brieana and Ian (Gabe and Trisha); Cooper, Lydia and Mason (Josh and Kelly); and Ronan (Luke and Meghan). Jim is preceded in death by his parents, Claude and Marjorie; wife Lucy; and sister, Sally. “Magnified and sanctified may His great name be” Dirks-Blem Funeral Service, Olivia, MN (320) 523-1102 www.dirksblem.com