James Joseph “Jim” Benedickt, 91, of Gordon, Nebraska, passed away February 18, with his wife of 66 years, Audrey, by his side.
Jim was born in 1921 in Dunlap, Iowa to JJ and Ida-Hinkel Benedickt. As a young child he moved to Omaha and attended St. Bridgett’s Elementary School. In 1930 the family moved to Kyle, SD on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Jim attended high school in Rushville, and Martin, SD, graduating from Bennett County High School in 1940. After high school Jim went to college at the University of South Dakota, playing football there and living with his coach.
Jim joined the Airforce in 1943, serving the European Theater during WWII, he was stationed in Corsica off the coast of Italy. He was a radio mechanic for the army/airforce airborne and ground radios. During his tour of duty, Jim was chosen to play in the 1945 Spaghetti bowl, 5th Army versus 12th Airforce. He was honorably discharged in 1946. Jim married Audrey Coon Benedickt on Jan. 26, 1946 in Rushville, with whom he would spend the rest of his life. Their life together brought them four children: Mike, Kirk, Susan and Kathy.
Jim lived and ranched on his place north of Kyle for most of his life. Jim was a true cowboy, growing up riding broncs and working cows the real way, with a horse and rope. He was also fluent in the Lakota language, and if you listened close he would tell some of the old stories. He was always happiest with family on the ranch, working cows (his girls) and being the boss. Jim had a special way with animals, especially dogs and his pet cows. Always a joke teller and quick to make you laugh, Jim made many friends along the way. Jim was an avid golfer in his day. He was instrumental in building the Gordon country club and was the first player to par its nine holes. He loved being around his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, always bragging of their many achievements.
Jim is survived by his wife Audrey; son Mike Benedickt of Sheridan, Wyo.; daughter Susan Wallace of Gordon; son-in-law Steve Mohr; daughter-in-law Wrayanne Shannon; 11 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his father, mother, 9 siblings, son Kirk Benedickt, and daughter Kathy Mohr.
Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Memorial services were held Monday, Feb. 27, at St. Leo’s Catholic Church.