Cover photo for James Paulson's Obituary
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1937 James 2023

James Paulson

June 17, 1937 — March 24, 2023

Trail, MN


James Paulson, age 85, of Trail, MN, passed away on Friday, March 24th, at Essentia Living Center in Fosston. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 30th, at New Journey Church in Fosston with Pastors Jarred LeBon and Tyler Stynsberg officiating. Interment will be in Rosehill Cemetery, Fosston, at a later date. Visitation will be held for one hour prior to the service on Thursday at the church. Military honors will be conducted by the Army Honors Team. Arrangements are with Carlin Family Funeral Service of Fosston. Live-stream of the service may be viewed and messages of condolence shared at

James Allen Paulson was born June 17th, 1937 to parents Alvin and Catherine (Schmit) Paulson.  He was born in the house on the farm in Eden Township, Trail, MN, where he lived the majority of his life.  He attended grade school at District 242, a country school about a mile from home.  He often told stories about the adventures of walking, and skiing in the winter months, to school.  He attended Fosston High School and then attended the Northwest School of Agriculture in Crookston MN for his final three years of high school education, graduating in 1955.  He proudly served in the U.S. Army from 1957 thru 1959 at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. After that he returned home to farm in partnership with his father.

He was married to the girl across the road, Janice Anderson, on September 10th 1966 in Fosston, MN.  To this union two sons were born, Daniel James and Darald Allen Paulson.

 Later in years he farmed in partnership with his son Darald.   He loved the soil and animals.  He was in the dairy business, had a herd of beef cows and raised many hogs along with crops during his lifetime of farming. Farming was not only his occupation, but his passion. It was his favorite thing to do and he did it for over 60 years.

He had few hobbies, as farming was his hobby as well.  However, deer hunting was an important part of the year to him.  He was proud that he used the same deer rifle, a 30-40 Krag, for 55 years.  Spearing fish in the winter was also a must do thing for him.  He provided many neighbors with fish over the years. 

He was active in the area community.  He served on the board of directors for the Gully Cooperatives for 27 years, many of those years as President.  He was on the Land O’ Lakes board, the Eden township board, and the Fosston School Board for 12 years.  In 1974 he was selected as East Polk County King Agassiz candidate and fulfilled that position at the Red River Valley Winter Shows in Crookston.  He was a member of the Fosston Baptist Church, now known as New Journey Church, where he held many positions.

He also enjoyed performing for audiences as his character, Lars Peterson.  For many years he entertained crowds at functions in the area telling stories and jokes, having the crowd rolling in laughter.  He was sort of a Scandinavian stand-up comic.  He loved his Ole and Lena jokes.  If you knew him you have heard many of them.  Recently at a Gully, MN days celebration he was awarded a “Gully Oscar” for his years of entertainment.  This meant a lot to him.  For many years he wrote a Christmas letter that incorporated his sense of humor, poking fun at the relatives and neighbors that he loved dearly.

James passed away on Friday, March 24th, 2023 in Fosston, MN at the age of 85 years and 9 months.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Janice; his son Daniel Paulson and his wife Tina of Gully, MN; his grandson Ryan Paulson and his wife Hillary of Trail, MN along with their expected child, whom James was very excited to learn about recently; his granddaughter Nicole (Paulson) Halbur and her husband Jonathan of Fosston, MN and their daughter’s Brynlee and Blakely Halbur, whom he loved every minute with; and his granddaughter Hannah Paulson of Sun Lakes, AZ.  He is also survived by his two sisters Kathleen Spears of Cottage Grove, MN and Shirley Graftaas of Fosston MN.  Brothers-in-law Neal, Larry, Alan, Peter (Beverly), Dale (Cheryl), David (Becky) Anderson and sister-in-law Marilyn (Bob) Benjamin. His in-laws were just like siblings to him. He is also survived by many cousins, nephews and nieces.

 He was preceded in death by his son Darald Paulson, his brothers-in-law James Spears and Albert Graftaas, his sisters-in-law Sandra Anderson and Jolene Anderson, his nieces Carla Graftaas and Lisa and Amy Anderson, his father and mother in-law Leo and Doris Anderson, and his parents Alvin and Catherine Paulson.


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Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, March 30, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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