James R. Birkeland
1954 - 2021
May 19, 1954
February 23, 2021

James R. Birkeland

RAPID CITY | James Russell Birkeland, 66, died Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021.

Jim was born on May 19, 1954 in Mobridge to Russell and Susan (Montie) Birkeland. He graduated from Dupree High School in 1972, then attended SDSU in Brookings before finishing his degree in Electrical Technology at Lake Area Tech.

Jim married Nancy Holsworth on May 26, 1979. He worked at KEVN of Rapid City, as a broadcast engineer, WNEM, of Saginaw, MI, as a broadcast engineer and network administrator, and NOC agent at Golden West Telecommunications.

He was an avid outdoorsman that enjoyed fishing, hiking, kayaking, and camping.

Jim will be remembered for being a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He was soft spoken and kindhearted.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Russell and Susan Birkeland.

Jim is survived by his wife of 41 years, Nancy Birkeland, Rapid City; son, Luke Birkeland, Knoxville, TN; daughters, Shanda (Ray) Joe, Salt Lake City, UT, and Sara Birkeland (Garret

Despiegler), Pine Island, MN; granddaughters, Shaelynn and Jocelynn Joe, Salt Lake City, UT; two brothers, Marc (Dawn) Birkeland, Huron, and Brett Birkeland, Denver, CO; four sisters: Julie (Dennis) Christianson, Rapid City, Glenda (AJ) Starr, Faith, Kristi (Rick) Farlee, Lantry, and Collette (Rod) Hupp, Aladdin, WY; as well as numerous nephews, nieces, great-nephews and nieces and many cousins.

Visitation will be from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27 at Osheim & Schmidt Funeral Home. Burial will be at a later date in Dupree.

A memorial will be established for United Church of Christ in Dupree.

His online guestbook is available to sign at www.osheimschmidt.com

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by Rapid City Journal from Feb. 26 to Feb. 27, 2021.
1:00p.m. - 3:00p.m.
Osheim & Schmidt Funeral Home
2700 Jackson Blvd., Rapid City, South Dakota
Funeral services provided by:
Osheim & Schmidt Funeral Home
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11 Entries
Birkeland was "one-of-a-kind" and a joy to be around in the 9 years I knew him at TV5. I hope his family can take comfort knowing his involvement in my life -- and countless others -- left a very positive impact on me. My deepest condolences to the family.
Tom Plahutnik
March 1, 2021
Our sympathy to the Birkeland family. Jim was a great maintenance engineer and IT person at WNEM. Over the years he was an incredibly motivated individual with a soft heart. Plus an eye for coffee and Chinese food! We are both smiling over our memories of Jim.
Greg and Mary Jo Surma
February 27, 2021
Ozzie & Bev Osheim and staff offer our sincere sympathy in the loss of your loved one.
Osheim & Schmidt Funeral Home
February 27, 2021
Hey old friend. I am so sorry I never got to see you after you retired and moved back. Lots of memories tonight. My condolences to the entire family,
Frank McDaniel
February 26, 2021
I am so sorry to hear of Jimmy´s passing. He said to me, you´re the only one besides my mom that calls me Jimmy! He was a pleasure to work with and a great person to know. I´m so sorry for your loss.
Shirley Schneider
February 26, 2021
My heart goes out to you and the kids Nancy. Jim was a great guy and loved by all who knew him, but you are the ones who will feel it the most. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Nancy Miller
February 26, 2021
My heart goes out to the Birkeland family at this time of loss. Sending my condolences and prayers for another Dupree neighbor gone too soon.
Ruth Bakeberg Slaughter
February 26, 2021
Jim was a class act and always was professional and kind. I worked with Jim at WNEM for 13 years. My condolences to his family. He was a really great person and I can only imagine the loss this is for your family.
Marci Daniels
February 26, 2021
A fantastic technician whose intellect was only matched by his heart. Peace to Jim´s family.
February 26, 2021
Jim and I were co-workers. He was such a kind, helpful individual with a great sense of humor. Condolences to his family. He will be missed tremendously!
Craig McMorris
February 26, 2021
Jim was one of my best friends that will live in my heart forever. Nancy, Luke, Sara and Shanda I am so sorry for your loss.
Michael J Miller
February 26, 2021