James Blades

James Blades


May 4, 1931 - December 28, 2023


James Blades, 92, of Mitchell, SD, died Thursday, December 28, 2023, at Edgewood Memory Care in Mitchell. Memorial services will be at 1:30 PM on Saturday, April 13, 2024, at First United Methodist Church in Mitchell. Burial will be at Graceland Cemetery in Mitchell. Arrangements by Bittner Funeral Chapel.

James “Jim” Edwin Blades was born May 4, 1931, to Joseph and Lulu (Price) Blades in South Dakota.

Jim joined the US Navy on February 4, 1952, during the Korean War. He was first stationed in San Diego as a Ham Radio Man and electronics technician. Jim was then stationed in Japan where he was in charge of running and repairing cryptographic equipment and trained the Japanese repairmen. He served until November 15, 1955, and remained in the Naval Reserve until December 1959.

Jim married Lois Peterson on March 26, 1960, in Mitchell.

Jim taught in Alexandria for six years with the Hanson School District, and later joined Mitchell High School in 1966. At Mitchell High School, Jim taught and was a guidance counselor for 26 years, until retiring in 1993. Jim also belonged to the SD Guidance Counselors Association and the NEA.

Jim was a member of the United Methodist Church since 1942. He helped his wife serve food for various events with the United Methodist women such as, Corn Palace Day meals and Love Feast meals. Jim volunteered at the Friends of the Middle Border Museum from 1995 to 2004, and then at Dakota Discovery Museum from 2005 to 2014.

Jim was a member of the Grand Lodge Masonry of Alexandria since 1964. Jim’s favorite hobby was his Ham Radio in which he was a member of the A-1 Operator Club, Quarter Century Wireless Association Inc., and American Radio Relay League Inc. His call sign was WOCLS. Jim enjoyed bee keeping and was a member of the SD Beekeeper Association from 1978-1993. He also enjoyed gardening and bird watching, but most of all he loved talking about his sons and grandchildren. 

Jim is survived by his two sons, Jerry (Marcia) Blades of Broomfield, CO and Robert (Becky) Blades of Sioux Falls, SD; four grandchildren, James Weldon (Jayne) Blades and Alana Blades of Broomfield, CO, Katelynne Blades Clark and Nathan Clark II both of Sioux Falls, SD, and Jordan Blades (Erin Deornemann) of Lincoln, NE; niece, Vicki Miller Taggart; and nephews, William Peterson, Lee Peterson, Dale Peterson, Burt Peterson, and Marc Peterson.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Lois, and nephews, Kent Miller and John Peterson.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Love Feast of Mitchell.


Saturday, April 13, 2024
1:30 PM
First United Methodist Church
310 N Rowley St
Mitchell, SD 57301


Graceland Cemetery
Mitchell, SD

Posted by Mary Schiefen on April 11, 2024
Mr. Blades was our guidance counselor while I was a student at Alexandria High School. He was an excellent teacher.
Posted by Sandy Wenzel on February 1, 2024
I don't live in Mitchell any more or get the Mitchell paper so didn't know about Jim's passing. The last time I saw Jim was December, 2022 I believe. He was enjoying coffee with friends. He & Lois were great people who helped so many through SHINE. I always marveled at their ability to keep up with the Rules & Regs from year to year! They were such a lovely couple🙏🩷
Posted by Tama Backlund on January 5, 2024
Jim and Lois, as Roberta mentioned above, assisted hundreds of citizens to apply for benefits they paid in to all their lives, or deserved due to early disability. These application forms and the red tape in the 1990s were challenging to say the least. The Blades were beacons of light for many frustrated, maybe many under educated, senior citizens, especially. It was always a pleasure to see Jim and Lois - and later, Jim alone. He continued to stay active by getting out in public but he certainly missed his “partner in life”. The world will miss Jim’s intelligence, compassion, patience and smile.
Posted by Roberta McEntee on January 2, 2024
He and his wife volunteered at SHINE for many years and this was a great service to so many seniors. He is truly missed.
Posted by LaDonna Zellmer on January 1, 2024
Jim was my mentor and co- counselor at Mitchell High School 1985-1993. I learned so much from him in those years such as patience and staying calm. He was a wonderful man and I am thankful for the time I got to work with him.
Posted by Tom Kippes on December 30, 2023
The honey Bees will miss him. I worked with the city and had hive or 2 on the move Jim helped us out.
Posted by Hollie Karber on December 30, 2023
Jim was a great guy and shall be missed! My sympathy to his family
Posted by Brian Bonner on December 29, 2023
A wise and gentle man, a true asset to the community. I remember his advice even though I graduated a long time ago - in 1978 - from MHS.
Posted by Pat and Kim Hunt on December 29, 2023
Sorry to hear the passing of your Dad. Keep your memories close. I remember him teaching amateur radio class and getting my first HAM radio with his guidance. May God watch over him and all his family and friends.
Posted by Jackie Christiansen on December 29, 2023
I remember Mr. Blades from high school. Always had a cheery hello for everyone.
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