James Thomas Cartney, of Watertown, SD passed away on Sunday, October 25 at the age of 89, after suffering a stroke.
Private Family Funeral Mass was held on Thursday, October 29, 2020, at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church. Fr. Michael Wensing and Fr. John Fischer was the celebrants. Music was provided by Laura Atwood as organist and song leader. A Public Walk-Thru visitation was at Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel on Wednesday from 5-7 p.m.
Burial was at Black Hills National Cemetery, Sturgis, SD. Pallbearers will be: Rick Cartney, Travis Cartney, Nick Collins, Cory Collins, Laurie Sebring and Kate Collins.
James (Jim), the son of Frances and Francis Cartney was born in Presho, SD on August 5, 1931. He was married to Opal (Liffengren) Cartney for 66 years and they had six children. Jim was known for his strong work ethic. He worked a variety of jobs as a teen, including setting pins at the bowling alley, helping with several farms and at the stockyards. He served in the United States Army during the Korean War and was honorably discharged. Upon his return to South Dakota he married his sweetheart and spent the rest of his life loving and providing for his family. Jim was employed in several jobs in central South Dakota before moving his family to Rapid City in 1967 as he began his career with Whisler Bearing Company. He soon was asked to establish and manage a new branch of the store in Watertown. He later bought that branch of the company which became Cartney Bearing and it continues in the family owned by his son, Ken.
“Daddy’s Hands” is a theme that suits Jim to a “T”. His strong hands often rough and calloused from physical labor were as adept at applying a little discipline to an unruly child as they were to providing a pat on the back or a loving caress. Jim was a handy man who could fix most anything and who loved to build such things as a hutch for the family, China he purchased in Japan for his bride to be, campers for his young family to spend weekends in, and toy kitchens or garages for the grandkids.
Jim also used his hands, time and energy as an active community citizen serving as a Boy Scout leader, participating in the Cosmopolitan Club, the Golden Age Club, attending to his Catholic faith, and helping with Meals on Wheels. In his later years he returned to woodworking skills to make many items such as Bible holders, cross wall hangings, and step stools, most of which he donated to various charities including the Salvation Army.
Jim’s strong thick hands may have belied his softer more empathetic side. Jim took care of the wild birds, squirrels and rabbits-feeding them daily throughout the year. A side of Jim seen primarily by his close family was the great care and dignity he provided to those who were sick or dying. Jim helped immensely with the personal care of his Uncle Bob, Aunt Lucille, and his son-in-law Kevin Collins.
Jim is survived by his wife Opal, his sisters Joan Seachris, Dorothy Morgan(John), Lillian Halvorson (Larry)and Pat Roe (Wayne). He is also survived by his children - Tim, Mike, and Kay of Watertown; Ken (wife Diane) from Aberdeen; Laural Jackson (husband Don) from Delta Junction, AK; and Kris Collins from Spearfish, SD. Jim was proud to be the grandfather of fourteen grandchildren: Emily Cartney Anderson, Shelly Cartney, Laurie Sebring, Jennifer Thuringer, Rick Cartney, Jessica Prunty, Travis Cartney, Trisha Bright, Byron Turner, Melissa Bunselmeier, Mark Jackson, Cory Collins, Nick Collins, and Kate Collins. He also greatly loved by his fifteen great grandchildren who range in age from 20 years to 6 months.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that any donations be directed to the Prairie Lakes Foundation (Hospice) or the Lake Area Tech Foundation, Cartney Fund.
Arrangements by Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel www. crawfordosthus.com.