Cover photo for James M. Wolfbauer's Obituary
James M. Wolfbauer Profile Photo
1944 James 2023

James M. Wolfbauer

July 28, 1944 — January 17, 2023

No ServicesJames Michael “Jim” Wolfbauer passed away surrounded by family on January 17, 2023, in Coon Rapids, Minnesota following a brief illness. Jim, born in Warren, Michigan on July 28, 1944, was 78. Jim was from a large family of nine children – three sisters and five brothers. His family moved to Braham, Minnesota where they settled a 600-acre farm raising cows, pigs, and chickens, selling the milk and meat. Jim’s brother Joe has fond memories of the two of them getting into mischief while bailing hay – needless to say, very little hay was ever bailed. It was on the farm where his love for building must have begun as he appointed himself General Contractor in charge of his siblings for the building of a tree house on the property.The family then moved to Lexington, Minnesota as his father Pete worked as a machinist at a local tooling shop. Jim attended Centennial Senior High School where he quickly made a name for himself. His mother Josie received frequent calls from the school saying Jim was always correcting the math teacher and would she kindly ask him to stop embarrassing her.In 1962, Jim was introduced to Linda Furnas by his sister Elaine. As the story goes, he took her to Dairy Queen for a Dilly Bar on their first introduction. They were later married in a double ceremony with his brother Joe and his to-be wife Unni on March 4, 1963. Jim’s passion for building became the start of a life-long profession when in 1966 he built his first house, the home for his young family, in Davenport, Iowa. The location was picked to be close to Linda’s family. He built the house from start to finish.Jim had an entrepreneurial spirit as well as a zest for adventure moving his family to Colorado where he eventually started his own construction business, Sunburst. The family ultimately settled in Broomfield, Colorado where he raised his 2 daughters, Terri and Dana. Later came his daughter Amber (with Robbin Boyd). He established a thriving venture and was responsible for the development of a significant number of custom homes and housing subdivisions. At one time he partnered with his sister Elaine, a realtor, who listed and sold his houses. Then again, seeing a special need, he branched out into remodeling assisted living facilities for the memory impaired. Jim’s persistent need to build took an unexpected path when he found an opportunity to buy an old fishing bait shop on Lake Maloney near North Platte, Nebraska. He quickly expanded it into a campground, resort and restaurant aptly named Wolfies. Staffing was sometimes limited so he had no problem putting his young daughter and granddaughter (both under 13!) to work waiting on and bussing tables. He owned a lake house here as well where family and friends gathered for weekends and holidays. Many, many fond memories were had at that house and resort.After many years in Colorado and Nebraska, Jim made his way back to his home, Minnesota, where he had an opportunity to continue his business and build custom homes and housing communities in the Minneapolis suburbs. He spent his recent years back where he grew up doing what he loved to do until the time of his passing.Jim lived a big, bold, and venturesome life. His personality was lively, and his presence commanded the room. It was always a fun time to be with Jim. He had a quick wit and a clever humor. He had a knack for uncovering an opportunity in almost anything he had a hand in. He was no ordinary man for sure and will be deeply missed beyond measure. Jim is proceeded in death by his parents, Peter and Josephine; and brother Ronald.Jim is survived by his daughters, Terri Groves, Dana Gordon and Amber Rhees; his grandchildren, Amanda Harvey, Lindsey Pruett, Madeline Gordon, Natalie Gordon, Audrey Gordon, Lukas Sisk, Briar Sisk and Jace Webb; great-grandchildren, Emily Harvey, Charlotte Harvey and Amelia Pruett; sisters, Elaine Barnard, Patricia Streif, and Judith Haynes; and brothers, Gerald, Joseph, Kenneth, and Peter.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James M. Wolfbauer, please visit our flower store.

Guestbook

Visits: 13

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree