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James "Jim" Silliman
June 17, 1945 ~ October 31, 2023 (age 78) 78 Years Old
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James “Jim” Silliman, age 78, of Watertown, SD passed away on Tuesday, October 31, 2023 at the Avera Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls. Memorial services will be at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 7, 2023, at Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer in Watertown. Pastor Laura Overbo will officiate. Visitation will be at the church in Watertown on Tuesday from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. The family is requested to meet at the church on Tuesday by 10:30 for a family prayer service. The funeral service will be live streamed via our website.
James Leroy Silliman was born in Windom, MN on June 17, 1945 to Cecil and Frieda Silliman. He graduated from Windom High School and continued his education at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD where he played football and graduated with a teaching degree. Jim married his high school sweetheart, Margaret Ann “Peggy” on August 14th 1966. After college, Jim and Peggy moved to Walnut Grove, MN and later on to Albert Lea, MN where he taught and began their family. In 1982, Jim and Peggy moved to Watertown, SD where they owned and operated Midwest Medical Service for 28 years.
Jim was an active member of the Elks Lodge, Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer, the Watertown Quarterback Club, and the Augustana Booster Club. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, reading, spending time in Arizona and watching his grandchildren play sports.
Some of his favorite memories were going on hunting and fishing trips with his family and friends. He enjoyed sharing his love of fishing with his grandson, Matthew and his love of football with Thomas and Luke. Grandpa “Kota” loved to hide surprises for his grandkids and he was always willing to supervise nap time. His presence, love, and warmth just by sitting in a chair with a grandkid next to him will be the memories that live on as a source of comfort and happiness.
Jim’s passion for sports, especially football, was infectious. In the fall of 1998, he was inducted in the Augustana Hall of Fame. He spent countless hours driving to his children and grandchildren’s sporting events. Jim’s love for his grandchildren was boundless. He took immense pride in watching them excel in their sports endeavors, and his encouragement and cheers echoed through the bleachers, leaving a legacy of love and support.
As we remember our husband, dad and grandpa, we hold onto the precious memories of his kindness, his laughter, and his enduring love. He leaves behind a legacy of warmth, compassion, and a genuine willingness to lend a helping hand, forever etched in the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to know him.
Jim is survived by his wife of 57 years, Peggy; daughter Mary (Mark) Smieja and grandson Matthew, son Timothy Silliman and grandsons Thomas and Luke, and daughter Betsy (Josh) Hills and granddaughters Quinn, Charlotte, and Layne; brother – in- laws Warren Bolin and Jim (Simonine) Bolin, two nieces, and many extended family and friends, including his Breakfast Club. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Catherine Silliman.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer Youth Projects.
“The world is diminished because he is gone. But it is still a better place because he was here.” - Anonymous