Jim Navarre was a loving, dependable and forgiving husband, father and grandfather. He had a deep faith in God. He was an avid fisherman who enjoyed nature, birds and being outdoors. He sang polkas and recited poetry while fishing with multiple generations of family on the pontoon boat. He was a storyteller. He loved music, played the concertina and digital organ. He grew up on a farm in the Polish community of Thorpe, Wisconsin. He was intelligent and crafty. He built his first home. He took many home movies, photos and videos. In his early career, he was a cheese maker, WW2 Army veteran, pilot for the Civil Air Patrol, worked for Culligan Water, 3M, and Whirlpool. He was a boiler engineer and custodian for Central High, Murry High and St. Bernard’s Catholic schools in St. Paul. He was proud to be a school bus driver for North St. Paul School district for 17 years. In his retirement he delivered Meals on Wheels for many years. He loved to play cards, Farkle and Wii bowling.
James J. Navarre was born on September 19, 1926 and died on December 27, 2019
He is preceded in death by his parents: John and Cecelia (Pilarski) Navarre, a sister: Kathryn Haas, brother: Al, sister in law: Dory, brothers in law: LaVerne Haas and Verlyn Kicker, step-son: James "Jimmy" Burgess, grandson: Sean Burgess and former wife: June (Ruggles) Roettger.
He is survived by his wife: Patricia (Bilder), brother: Richard, sisters in law: Dorothy Kicker, Mary (Neil) Carpentier, Debbie Bilder, brothers in law: John (Theresa) Bilder, Tom (Rebecca) Bilder and Joe Bilder.
He is also survived by his children: Linda Slyter, Steve, Lon (Joy Sorensen), Debbie, Greg (Rita), and Becca (Ted Harvey); his step-children: Linda (Bruce) Hilsen, Dan Burgess, Victoria Galan; his 18 grandchildren: Chris (Billie Jo), Donald (Nichole), Karisa (Dan), Keila, Juan Lucas, Laura, Sarah, Scott (Julie), Mindy (Travis), Dean, Lance, Kristin, Tami, Chris, Tony (Annie), Francis (Katie), Peter (Amanda) and Wendy; his 46 great-grandchildren: Oliver, Scarlette; Colt; Teddy, Lily; Levi, Simeon, Isaac, Joshua, Maurecio; Lacy, Ben, Katie; Kayla, Derek, Aaliyah; Ethan, Parker; Megan, Abigail, Sulivan, Eliza, Olivia, Jamison; Brody, Zoe; Millie, Finley; Kayla, Kelsey, Sean Jr., Cody, Tyler, Trevor and Tommy; Jayden, Ryan, Kaiya; Kayley, Kayden, Kameron; Lilliani, Lexi; and his five great-great grandchildren: Maverick, Lillie, Brennan; Olivia and Emma.
He dearly loved his nieces, nephews, cousins and friends, especially his friends at Gable Pines in Vadnais Heights and The Gardens of the Episcopal Homes.
We will always remember the love, the man and the spirit he left with us, in us and around us.
Funeral Service Thursday (January 2, 2020) 12:00 PM at THE GARDENS AT EPISCOPAL HOMES, COVENTRY CHAPEL, 1840 University Ave. W., St. Paul, MN with Visitation starting at 11:00 PM.