James Alfred "Jim" Gram, 57, died Friday, Aug. 7, 2009, at his residence in Sebeka.
He was born July 17, 1952, in Thief River Falls to Ray and MaDonna (Offerdahl) Gram. He graduated from Anoka Vocational School for auto mechanics. His love of cars led him to drag racing with his cousin, Bobby Jaranson. In the early 1970s, he was the first person to ever race a snowmobile more than 100 miles per hour. He drove for Jenkins Oil and proudly served as police chief of the city of Backus, Minn. He also owned the One Stop Convenience Store and Pawn Shop in Jenkins, Minn. The art of haggling at pawn shops continued to be a passion throughout his life. Most recently, he was employed as a medical tech at Bell Hill Recovery Center in Wadena. He was a beef rancher on Bunny Hill Road in Nimrod until he united his Lazy G Farms with Malinda Dexter's Shadow Appaloosas in Sebeka where he raised champion stock, enjoyed many shared interests, and entertained friends and family. He was an avid hunter and fisherman who adored his family, loved to tease, and enjoyed teaching all youngsters the joys of the outdoors. He assisted Malinda with the Wadena County 4-H Horse Training Program, and was a member of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, North Country Appaloosa Club, River Trail Riders Saddle Club, and the Central Minnesota Horse Improvement Association. He was overjoyed when his first grandson, Cayden, was born in June.
Memorial services were held Wednesday, Aug. 12, at the Sebeka United Methodist Church with the Rev. Loren Ferch officiating. Honorary pallbearers were all who called him friend and Beauty, Arrow and Sweetie. Arrangements were entrusted to Wevley Funeral Home in Sebeka.
Survivors include his best friend, soul mate and partner, Malinda Dexter; mother, MaDonna Gram; sister, Susan Stoddard; stepsons Bryon Lalum and Chris (Nicole) Lalum; four grandchildren; nephews and nieces; loyal companion, Sweetie; numerous family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his father, Ray Gram; cousin, Jeanne Frush; numerous aunts and uncles; hunting buddy Beauty; and cow dog Arrow.