Family Login:


Share This Obituary
Resources

Arrangements made by

Memorial Services of Iowa

4208 North Ankeny Blvd.
Ankeny, IA 50023
Get Directions

Profile of Memorial Services of Iowa

View Phone Number
View Fax Number
Email Us



Memories & Candles

“Jim was the Wally Cleaver of our neighborhood and we all looked up to him. He was always ready to play some baseball, collect bottle caps, baseball...Read More »
1 of 3 | Posted by: ron sampson - des moines, IA

“I am so sorry to hear the news of Jim's passing. I had the privilege of being his secretary for a few years at Briggs and found Jim to be very...Read More »
2 of 3 | Posted by: Deb Poole - Cottage Grove, MN

“My loving and caring brother. So much can be said about Jim---his wit and humor, compassion for others, love of family. He and his wife Carol...Read More »
3 of 3 | Posted by: Kathy Santry - Ankeny, IA


Golf Emblem

James Ronald Steilen, age 70 of Plymouth, Minnesota, our beloved husband, father, and grandpa passed away on October 18, 2019.

A visitation will be heldTuesday, October 22nd, between 5-8 p.m. at Gearty-Delmore Funeral Chapel, 15800 37th Ave. N., Plymouth, MN, 55446.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11:00 a.m., Thursday, October 24, 2019, at St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church, 1102 NW Weigel Dr., Ankeny, IA 50023.
A visitation will be held 1 hour prior to the service.

Born in Mitchell, South Dakota and raised in Iowa, Jim graduated from Dowling Catholic High School in 1967 and the University of Iowa in 1971, where he became a lifelong fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes. In 1974 he graduated from Harvard Law School and began a distinguished career as an attorney, first with the Minneapolis law firm of Popham Haik Schnobrich, Kaufman & Doty, and then with Briggs and Morgan.

Jim specialized in real estate transactions and worked on a number of significant development projects, including the Target Center, Canterbury Park, and Wayzata High School, alongside many others for a wide range of organizations, businesses, and individuals, including the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Catholic Finance Corporation, Beth El Synagogue, public school districts in Wayzata, Osseo/Maple Grove, and Westonka, as well as hospitals and medical care providers such as Quello Clinic, Universal Hospital Services, and Hudson Hospital, among many others. He was sought out by clients for his mastery of detail in complex contracts, sometimes running into the hundreds of pages, and for his ability to negotiate favorable terms by seeking out common ground and shared interests. Jim's law partners valued his integrity and judgment, and elevated him to leadership positions at both his firms, including the board of directors.

Outside work Jim was a devoted golfer, loved to tailgate with old friends at Iowa Hawkeyes football games, and had a passion for collecting art, especially glass sculpture. He loved to travel and enjoyed recalling trips to Greece, Spain, England, and China.

Jim was immensely proud of his family, and spoke of them constantly (along with the latest news of the Iowa Hawkeyes). Daughters Jenny and Katie were adopted from South Korea through the Children's Home Society of Minnesota, where Jim served as a board member for many years.

Preceded in death by his father, Ronald Steilen, and survived by his mother, Gladys, brothers Bob (Christina) and Mike (Debie), and sisters Debra Steilen and Kathy Santry. Will be deeply missed by his wife, Carol, of 49 years, sons Matt (Kate) and Dan (Aneessa), and daughters Jenny Boeck (Jeremy) and Katie Wilmes (Tim). Beloved grandpa to Willa and Harriet Steilen, Adam and Lucas Boeck, Evelyn and Roman Wilmes. He was looking forward to the arrival of his newest grandchild, expected by Dan and Aneessa in December.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Children's Home Society can be sent to 2485 Como Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota, 55108, indicating it is a memorial gift for James Steilen. In the last ten years of his life Jim battled Parkinson's Disease and Lewy Body Dementia. The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Trails of Orono, where Jim lived the last two years of his life. Their warm and loving care will always be remembered.