James Garrity, 67, of Pierre died Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital.
Funeral services were held Monday, Dec. 2 at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church with Fr. Kristopher Cowles officiating. Burial followed in St. John’s Cemetery in Harrold, SD.
James Edward Garrity was born in Pierre, SD Dec. 10, 1945, the eighth of 10 children of Arthur and Evelyn (Anderson) Garrity. The family lived on a farm southwest of Harrold, SD. In 1955, following the death of his father, Jim moved with his mother and younger siblings to Yankton, SD. They later relocated to Hoven, SD. It was there he continued his education, graduating with the Hoven Class of 1964. In 1963 the family size increased when his mother married William (Bill) Rausch who had eight living children.
During his school years, Jim enjoyed playing sports, particularly football. He loved going fishing and hunting with their neighbor, Matt Seurer. Jim was also involved in FFA.
Following his high school graduation, Jim enlisted in the US Army. He spent two years in Germany where he was a radio operator with the signal battalion. He earned the Rifle M-14 Marksman Badge. Following his honorable discharge Jim worked in Colorado for about five years and then returned to South Dakota. He attended Watertown Vo-Tech studying diesel mechanics.
Due to a series of recurring health issues, Jim lived in various adult foster care homes in Rapid City, Johnson Siding and Sioux Falls, eventually moving to The Golden Living Center in Pierre in 2009
While in Sioux Falls, Jim became very involved in volunteer work at the VA Medical Center. It was there he was presented a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition for his 21 years and 27,166 hours of volunteer service.
Jim continued to have a variety of interests. During his Occupational Therapy Jim hand crafted many attractive items. The most significant were replicas of horse drawn covered wagons which have been on display at the Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center in Ft. Pierre since 2010. Jim continued his interest in old cars. He looked forward for many years to the “Fishing Has No Boundaries” where he received plaques for the largest catch.
Jim was a lifelong member of the Catholic Church as well as a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters and the American Legion, and a Lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans.
Through the years, Jim developed a very congenial personality and was highly respected by staff in Sioux Falls and Pierre. This endeared him to his care providers and family. Jim has been Resident of the Month at Golden Living Center. He had this to say about his years of residence there, “It is a great place to be and they take good care of me.” Jim was happy there and took part in various activities, and totally enjoyed watching the TV western movies in the day room. Jim looked forward to family gatherings and the annual sibling reunions. His birthday was another highlight, as he would look forward for weeks to family coming to celebrate with him as well as the presents, cake and ice cream. This year Jim will be celebrating his December birthday with his parents and with Jesus in his heavenly home. In a large family there is a certain amount of sibling rivalry and who will be first. Jim became the first of the siblings to accomplish the goal for each of us; “Life with Jesus in eternity.”
Jim is survived by siblings and step family: Mary Ann (Frank) Fransen, Pierre; Patricia Rausch, Pierre; Catherine (Robert) Pfeil, Clear Lake; Richard Garrity, Lakewood, VA; Marjorie Gregg, Ft. Pierre; Robert (Gloria) Garrity, Ft. Pierre; Dr. Thomas Garrity, Hoven; Michael Garrity, Pierre; Carol (Dan) Bancroft, Rapid City; Janice Rausch, Aberdeen; Renee Ihle, New Albany, OH; Harlan (Mary) Rausch, Hoven; Darrel (Ruby) Rausch, Hoven; Eleanor Schmidt, Hoven; Vern (Sharon) Rausch, Hoven; Jerry (Vicki) Rausch, Hoven; Charlyn (John) Nickolas, Pierre; aunts: Irene Myers, Gunnison, CO; Sr. Evangeline Anderson, Yankton, SD; Evelyn Anderson Dolan, Grand Island NE; as well as many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
Preceding Jim in death were both sets of grandparents, his father Arthur Garrity in 1955, his mother Evelyn Garrity Rausch in 1986, his step father William Rausch in 1994; brothers in law LeRoy Rausch and Robert (Doc) Gregg; step brothers; Eugene, Virgil (in infancy), and Duane Rausch; step brothers in law: Luther Ihle and Larry (Lefty) Schmidt; nephews and nieces: Joseph and Luke Fransen (in infancy) Pam Fransen Hoag, Boyd Gregg, Art Garrity; Sherlock Hirning, Jr.; step niece Jodi Rausch and step nephew Robert Rausch.
Jim’s spirit of volunteerism continues as he was an organ donor potentially benefitting up to 250 people.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Harrold St. John’s Cemetery Perpetual Care fund; Anderson Scholarship fund at Mt. Marty College, Yankton; the Garrity-Rausch Memorial Fund in Hoven, SD, or the Disabled American Veterans.
Arrangements have been placed in care of Isburg Funeral Chapel. Online condolences may be made at www.isburgfuneralchapels.com