Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

James "Jim" Walter Gawboy

James "Jim" Walter Gawboy

August 17, 1936 - April 4, 2024

James Walter Gawboy "Waasagiizhik "Animikii Aanakwad", age 87, died in his wife's arms on April 4, 2024. He was born in Cloquet and lived his early life on Vermilion Reservation, later moving to his grandmother's farm near Ely after her passing. He graduated from Ely High School in 1953 where he was a renowned swimmer. He then enrolled in the University of Minnesota where he swam sprints and ran cross country for the U of M. After graduating from the U of M with a degree in anthropology and zoology, he was drafted into the Army where he served for 2 years. He then went on to work as a game warden for the Minnesota DNR for 30 years. In 1990 Jim moved to Kugler Township, and together with his wife Becky, created a working farm. After his retirement, he taught American Indian studies at Mesabi Community College for 2 years. He and Becky then became licensed foster parents. Over a 10-year period, they fostered nearly 100 children and went on to adopt 12. When people asked why he adopted so many kids, his reply was "no one else would and besides I never learned to play golf." During their 34 years together, Jim and Becky were inseparable. They traveled with their kids to Pow-Wows throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ontario. Together they took cruises, train trips and traveled often to the Yucatan in Mexico, and drove their camper out West several times and to North Carolina to visit family there. On a trip to Ireland, Becky bought a tin whistle which Jim learned to play which then led him to play the piano at age 62. Although he had no musical experience, he became an accomplished pianist. Jim also built a dozen saunas, the family home on Lake Vermilion Reservation, and added a large addition to the farmhouse that he was remodeling. Jim was well known for his sense of humor, his brilliant intellect and his creativity.

He was preceded in death by his parents; 6 siblings; and his oldest son Galen; granddaughter Amy; and his first wife Kathleen.

Jim is survived by his loving wife Rebecca; his children Linden Gawboy, J.T. Gawboy, Briita (Donnie Swartz) Noyes, Sigurd Noyes, Rolando Noyes, Ann Gawboy, Shawn Gawboy, Miranda Gawboy, Naomi Gawboy, Isaac (Angel Day) Gawboy, Timothy Gawboy, Jasmine (Trystan Day) Gawboy, Desmond Gawboy, Juanita Gawboy, Roger Gawboy, Lorenzo Gawboy, Victor Diaz; beloved foster son Steven Isham; and son of his heart, Ryan Bajan; brother: Carl (Cindy Donnes) Gawboy; brother and sister-in-law John and Amy Holm; 30 grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews.

A Traditional Wake will be held on Sunday, April 7, 2024, starting at 5:00 pm, at the Vermilion Wellness Center, Tower, MN. The Traditional Service will be held the next day on Monday, April 8, 2024, at 10:00 am, also at the Vermilion Wellness Center. Spiritual Leader will be Ricky Defoe. Military Honors will be accorded by: Bois Forte Honor Guard, VFW Honor Guard and the Orr Legion Honor Guard. Burial will be at the Bois Forte Vermilion Cemetery.

Traditional Wake

Vermilion Family Wellness Center

Sunday, April 7, 2024

5:00 PM

1615 Farm Road S

Tower, MN 55790

Traditional Native American Service

Vermilion Family Wellness Center

Monday, April 8, 2024

10:00 AM

1615 Farm Road S

Tower, MN 55790

 

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