James Noel Proulx, age 78, of Mentor, MN, passed away on Tuesday, December 20th, at the Veteran’s Home in Fergus Falls, MN. A Memorial Mass will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, May 26th, at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Gentilly, MN with Monsignor David Baumgartner presiding. Interment will be in the parish cemetery. Family will greet friends for one hour prior to the service at the church. Military honors will be provided by the Vanderwaal-Lusty American Legion of Mentor and the National Guard Honors Team. Arrangements are with Carlin Family Funeral Service of Erskine and messages of condolence may be shared at www.carlinfuneral.com.
James Noel Proulx was born in Crookston, MN on January 21, 1944 to parents Noel and Cerisa (Hamel) Proulx of Red Lake Falls, MN. James was the 7th child born in the family of 9 children. He attended St Joseph’s elementary in RLF, St Anne’s elementary in Somerset, WI, his freshman year at the Onamia Seminary and graduated from Somerset High School in May of 1962. Following graduation James enlisted in the U.S. Army in August of 1962 with basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. He served as a stock clerk and was stationed in Germany. James was Honorably Discharged on July 22, 1965.
For a time, Jim was employed as a telephone cable splicer at Bell Telephone in St Paul then later worked as a contractor for Purvis Construction.
On April 28, 1973 he married Josephine Kapoun at St Pius X Church in White Bear Lake. They bought and lived in a 28 ft travel trailer where his work took him. Their first location was Devils Lake, No Dakota. Later that year their son, Matthew was born in St Paul. In 1976 they settled in Mentor at the Maple Lake Proulx homestead and in December of that year their daughter Melissa was born in Crookston, MN. A son Michael in 1978 and daughter Mary in 1981 completed their family. They were active members of St Lawrence Parish for 30 years then transferred their membership to St Peters Parish in Gentilly.
In 1976 Jim established Proulx’s Telephone Cable Splicing and contracted work in the 5 state area until 2006. In 1979 Jim and Josie purchased 15 acres on Cable Lake where they later built their home. The Summer Set C-store was established which operated during the summer months for 10 years. Jim also owned the 3.2 bar with off- sale liquor which he operated as the “Frog Pond” in Halma, MN for 15 years until 2000.
Jim was a member of the 40 & 8 Club out of Crookston for 38 years. He was also a very proud active member of the American Legion for 47 years. He served as the 1988-89 - District Commander as a member of the Halma-Lake Bronson Post. Jim was instrumental in revitalizing the American Legion Post 421 in Mentor where he transferred his membership when it was about ready to disband. He recruited many new members, established post meetings and elected officers, proposed giving an official name to the Veterans City Park and had the canon restored. Jim organized Memorial Day Services at the Hall with guest speakers, special music, presentations and the Roll Call of departed Veterans at the Park, with military salute. He formulated the SAL (Sons of the American Legion) and honored Veterans with a community gathering each Veterans Day all of which continues to this day.
Jim loved to host parties at “Barney’s” (his pole barn private bar) which was up and running at Cable Lake in 2002. Jim was a fun-loving, kind-hearted, hard working and playing beer-drinking guy. His family was what Jim was most proud of. He made friends easily and was good to everyone. In 2006 he started his journey with Dementia which gradually progressed to the point where he needed professional care.
In 2019 Josie and Jim bought a townhome and moved to Bemidji, MN. In March of 2020 Jim spent 1 year at the Havenwood Care Center then was able to transfer to the Veterans Home in Fergus Falls where he received excellent care. He resided there for 9 months until his death on December 20, 2022 with Josie by his side day and night for his final 5 days.
Jim is survived by his devoted wife and caregiver, Josie of almost 50 years. His loving children Matthew (Lori) of Bemidji, Melissa (Aaron) Bray of Minnetrista, Michael (Cindy) of Two Harbors and Mary Benson of Fertile, MN.
Grandchildren Emma, Allison, Noah, Peyton, Ethan, Cerisa, Noel, Lyla, Ruby, Grace and Summer Star. His siblings Angie, Phyllis, Eugene (Pat), William (Patty), Monica (Tim) Audette, many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents Noel & Cerisa, his siblings John, Joan and now Sr Mary Ellen Proulx, his first grandchild Emma Josephine Proulx and wonderful son n law Aaron Benson.
BLESSED BE HIS MEMORY