Age 91 Died at his home with family at his side on Saturday, September 29. Jim was born on May 30, 1921 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Mabel and Ira Humphrey. He was married to Joyce Reed on July 5, 1941 in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. She died in 1994. Jim attended Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He became active in the Young Peoples Socialist League in Milwaukee where he ran for State Senator in 1942. He was a longtime friend and associate of Frank Zeidler, who was Socialist mayor of Milwaukee for many years. A conscientious objector in World War II, he was assigned to the Civilian Conservation Corp in Wellston, Michigan where he planted trees and fought forest fires in the Manistee National Forest. As a young man, he developed a love of poetry and wrote poems throughout his long life. He was Minnesota state fencing champion twice, participated in Senior Olympics and was a member of the Minnesota Fencing Association for many years. He was instrumental in organizing the fencing games at the first Minnesota Renaissance Faire. He worked for Mutual Service Insurance Company for many years in Milwaukee, St. Paul and Palo Alto, California, returning to the main office in St. Paul as Vice President of Operations. He retired early and he and his wife moved to Taos, New Mexico, where he spent much of his time writing and fly fishing. He pursued trout in nineteen states as well as in Scotland, Wales, and Canada. After a few years Jim and Joyce returned to Minnesota where Jim decided someone might enjoy reading about his fly fishing adventures. He is the author of more than 100 articles published in regional and national fishing magazines including "Fly Fisherman," "Fins and Feathers," and "Field and Stream." He and Bill Shogren wrote the classic book "Trout Streams of Wisconsin and Minnesota: A Fly-Angler's Guide to More Than 150 Rivers and Streams." This book, which has gone through two editions, is considered by many to be the authoritative source on trout fishing in the Upper Midwest. Jim edited the newsletter of the Twin Cities Chapter of Trout Unlimited and contributed many articles to it. He was active in the Wisconsin Kiap-TU-Wish chapter of Trout Unlimited and a regular contributor to its newsletter, RipRap. He was also member of the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust and spent many happy hours helping to clean the river. In his later years, as a resident of Boutwell's Landing in Stillwater, MN, he taught creative writing and participated in Pen and Think, a writer's group. He enjoyed a mean game of table tennis and started a table tennis club. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Donald and Alan and sister, Eunice. Survivors include his daughters, Elizabeth Vollrath (John), Stevens Point, WI, Daphne Humphrey Abramson (Greg), St. Paul, MN, and son Jim (Jessica Doyle), San Diego, CA, grand children Michael Vollrath and Caitlin Abramson, step-grandchildren, Trevor Gossmann (Lisa), Charlene Abramson and Matt Abramson and step-great grandchildren, Zac Abramson and Hano and Eli Gossmann, several nieces and nephews and special friend Margaret Verlautz. A Celebration of his life will be held on Sunday, October 21 from 2 to 4 PM in the Auditorium of Boutwell's Landing, 5590 Norwich Parkway, Oak Park Heights MN 55082. The gathering will begin at 2:30. Memorials may be made to Lakeview Hospice, Stillwater, MN or the Kiap-TU-Wish Chapter of Trout Unlimited.
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Published in Pioneer Press on Oct. 7, 2012