Cover photo for Jim Velzy's Obituary
Jim Velzy Profile Photo

Jim Velzy

Jim Velzy, age 85, of Yankton, South Dakota died from complications of COVID on Monday, November 30, 2020 at Avera Sister James Care Center in Yankton. Memorial services are 7:00 PM, on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton with Deacon Ron Kachena officiating.  The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.  Inurnment will be at the Little Dane Cemetery in St. Onge, SD at a later date.  The service will be live streamed on Jim’s obituary page at  Face coverings will be required for those attending the service. James LeRoy Velzy was born May 18, 1935 in Bismarck, North Dakota to Everett and Ella (Youngbeck) Velzy.  He grew up in the Black Hills in South Dakota and graduated from Lead High School.  Jim attended one year at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley on a music scholarship and then graduated from Black Hills State University in Spearfish, SD with a teaching degree.  On June 17, 1955, Jim married Reta Furois at St. Onge, SD.  Jim taught music and history at several schools throughout the country.  After teaching, Jim opened a hardware store in Springfield, SD and then in 1970, he moved to the store to the mall in Yankton.  After it closed, Jim became a painting contractor and also worked for the US Post Office, retiring at age 62.  Jim was a long time member of the Yankton Lions Club and Masonic Lodge. He was an active volunteer for the El Riad Shrine, where he started the burn seminars and drove children to the Shriners Hospital in Minneapolis.  Jim loved to sing and was involved in the Lewis and Clark Theatre and many different choral groups.  He also sang at many weddings and funerals throughout the years.  Jim loved his home at the lake in Yankton, where he could feed the deer and turkeys.  He enjoyed nature, being outdoors and loved to fish.  He was an avid sports fan and enjoyed watching football, baseball and golf.  Jim treasured the time spent with his grandchildren and great grandchildren. Jim is survived by his daughter, Tena (Doug) Tyree of Gayville; three grandchildren: Mindy (Jason) Larsen of Yankton, Dustin Holdorf (Samie Hansen) of Yankton, and Richard Tyree (Jemila Hanson) of Vermillion, SD; many great grandchildren; sister, Marna Wier of Yuma, AZ and many nieces and nephews. Jim was preceded in death by his parents; and wife, Reta Velzy on March 23, 2007. The family would prefer memorials to be made to the House of Mary Shrine, PO Box 455, Yankton, or Avera Sister James Eden Fund, c/o Avera Foundation, 501 Summit, Yankton, SD 57078.  




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