James K. Gednalske, 80, of Sioux Falls, passed away peacefully on February 24, 2015, with his wife by his side. Mass of Resurrection will be 11:00 am Monday, March 16, 2015 at St. Mary Church, 2109 S. 5th Ave. On Sunday, March 15, there will be family present visitation at Miller Funeral Home, 507 S. Main Ave. from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm with a Scripture Service at 4:00 pm. Condolences may be left at www.millerfh.com
Jim was born on July 25, 1934 in Dell Rapids to Louis and Viola Gednalske. He graduated from Dell Rapids High School in 1952. He attended Augustana College on scholarship, where he excelled in football and basketball while majoring in math and physical education. Jim was chosen Honor Athlete his senior year by his teammates. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in 1956 and later received his Master’s degree and Specialist in Education from the University of South Dakota. Jim served 40-years in education as a coach, athletic director, teacher, principal, and superintendent.
He spent his first two years of teaching and coaching in Philip, followed by three years in DeSmet.
On October 24, 1959, Jim married his college classmate, Janice Dolan, in Sioux Falls. They were blessed with three children; Ann, Craig and Steven.
When O’Gorman High School opened in 1961, Jim was the first football coach and athletic director. He taught math at O’Gorman and was athletic director for 10 years, followed by employment as high school principal for 10 years at Baltic High School, and five years at Lennox High School. In 1986, Jim and Janice moved to Minnesota, where Jim served seven years as principal and then superintendent.
In semi-retirement, they spent seven years in the Gulf Coast area of Texas, enjoying their grandchildren, tutoring at the local college, and traveling.
An avid outdoorsman, Jim loved hunting and fishing with his brothers, sons and friends. Summer travel with family and friends brought a great deal of pleasure. He supported his children and grandchildren in their academic and career pursuits, and never missed an opportunity to cheer them on in their athletic endeavors. Jim will be remembered by his family for his strength, loyalty and character. He was a peerless mentor not only to his family, but to countless students and colleagues across South Dakota, Minnesota and Texas. Jim epitomized the best of a great generation: hardworking, determined and selfless, with tremendous integrity.
Grateful for having shared his life are his wife of 55 years, Janice Dolan Gednalske, Sioux Falls; daughter, Ann (Ray) Vande Weerd, Spring, TX; sons, Craig (Clarkfield, MN) and Steven (Sarah) St. Louis Park, MN; and eight grandchildren. He is also survived by brothers, LeRoy, Dell Rapids, Robert (Betty), Sioux Falls, Ronald, Harrisburg, and sister, Diana Rogers of Dell Rapids, brother and sister-in-law James and Sharon Rallis, sister-in-law Shari Dolan and 22 nieces and nephews. Preceding him in death are his parents, brother, Richard Gednalske, mother-in-law, Gladys Dolan, and brother-in-law Jack Dolan.
Memorials may be directed to Bishop Dudley Hospitality House. The family especially thanks all the nurses and staff at Dells Nursing and Rehab Center for their loving care of Jim.