James C. “Jim” Puncochar, 86, of St. Paul, died Sunday, April, 1, 2012, at the Howard County Medical Center in St. Paul.
Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 10, 2012, at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in St. Paul. The Rev. Ray Kosmicki will officiate. Military honors will be conducted by Carl Mogensen American Legion Post 119 of St. Paul.
Jim chose to have his body cremated. There will be no visitation.
Peters Funeral Home of St. Paul is in charge of the arrangements.
Mr. Puncochar was born on Feb. 14, 1926, on the family farm south of St. Paul, the son of Joseph and Amelia (Skrivan) Puncochar.
He is survived by his wife, Dee of St. Paul; four daughters and two sons-in-law, Judith Puncochar of Marquette, Michigan, Janet Puncochar Carper and husband, Kevin of Papillion, Rebecca Puncochar of Grand Island, and Margaret Goerl and husband, Kevin of Grand Island; and sister, Marie Vollbracht of St. Paul.
He is also survived by grandchildren, Jonathan LeCount, Carlton LeCount, Amianna Carper Adler, Matthew Carper, Aaron Price, Lindsey Price Smith, and Brittany Goerl, Karla Goerl, Rosanne Goerl and Victoria Goerl; great-grandchildren, Benjamin and William Adler and Henry LeCount; niece, Terri Vollbracht; nephews, Joe and John Vollbracht; numerous friends and extended family as well as his chocolate lab, Daisy.
Jim attended District 15 where he only spoke Czech when he started school. He graduated from St. Paul High School in 1944. Later when living in California he graduated from the College of the Siskiyous in 1972. Jim served in the United States Navy, during World War II and was honorably discharged in 1946.
During the war, Jim corresponded with his future wife, Devona “Dee” Rubesh. After returning home, they were married on Nov. 6, 1948, at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in St. Paul. As Dee said, “Jim was always so good to his mother, that I knew he'd make a good husband.” Jim and Dee were married for 64 years.
Jim and Dee started farming after they were married. In 1960, Jim got a job with the Bureau of Reclamation and worked for several years as an engineer for the U.S. Government. Even though Jim, Dee and their daughters spent nearly 20 years in California, his heart was always in Nebraska. After retiring from the U.S. Forest Service in 1978, Jim and Dee returned to Nebraska to manage the Puncochar family farm south of St. Paul.
Jim could achieve anything he set his mind to and was an accomplished artist, musician, singer, woodworker, craftsman, farmer, handyman and inventor. To his family, Jim was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, son, brother and uncle.
Jim loved to hunt and fish and was an avid gardener. An expert craftsman, Jim and Dee bought “fixer-uppers” and turned them into showplaces. Jim helped all his daughters remodel homes, invented a patented hold-down clip, started a sickle business on the family farm and still found time to help his wife cut pieces for her beautiful quilts and play a daily games of scrabble with his best girl, Dee.
Jim will be especially remembered in the community for his regular accordion sessions he played for the residents at local retirement homes. He always made a point of playing and singing, “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You”, for his wife, companion and best friend, Dee.
He was a member of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church and Carl Mogensen American Legion Post 119.
He was preceded in death by his parents; son-in-law, Thomas LeCount; and grandson, Lawrence LeCount.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Sts. Peter and Paul Parish Hall Building Fund or to the donor's choice.