Nature 14

Jim Russel Portinga

December 10, 1930 ~ November 30, 2023 (age 92) 92 Years Old

Jim Portinga Obituary

Jim Russel Portinga passed away peacefully with his family by his side on November 30th, 2023. 

Jim graduated from Willmar High School in 1948 and served in the Navy during the Korean war from 1950 to 1954.  After his service he attended the University of Minnesota, majoring in Poultry Nutrition and Business. 

Jim met Shirley, the love of his life, in 1955 at a Robbins Island Picnic and they were married for 67 and a half wonderful years.

Jim had a varied career in business and poultry.  He started working at Allstate Hatchery at an early age, which was the family business.  Jim was most proud of developing a visionary computer program for poultry nutrition which was used to formulate feeding programs for over 70 million poultry in the US and Japan.

His entrepreneurial spirit accompanied his life of hard work.  He designed a new trailer hitch, winning first place at the Minnesota inventor’s congress.  Jim also drafted house plans for several of his own homes and for others.  He always said, “The only thing worse than working is looking for work.” In his later years Jim continued his work ethic, including a career working in a photo department.

Jim and Shirley lived in three different communities: Willmar, Big Lake and Branson, building community and lifelong friendships wherever they lived.  As a couple they traveled extensively throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Japan.

Jim loved his family.  He is survived by his wife Shirley; their four children: Tim and Laura Portinga of Eden Prairie, Todd and Kris Portinga of Welch, Cindy and Lincoln Clements of Willmar, and Chris and Krista Portinga of Maplewood.  Jim was especially fond of his 9 grandchildren: Nicole, Holly, Tyler, Johanna, Stephen, Jon, Jenna, Jake and Sam and 16 great grandchildren. The whole family gathered this past summer for a wonderful two-day reunion.

Jim was welcomed into heaven by his parents, Rich and Grace Portinga, brother Dean Portinga, niece Judy Portinga and nephew Terry Portinga. 

A memorial service will be held at First Covenant Church of Willmar, Minnesota on January 6th, 2024 at 11am with visitation one hour before. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred. Memorials can be donated to CentraCare Hospice or First Covenant Church in Jim’s memory.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jim Russel Portinga, please visit our floral store.

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January 6, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
First Covenant Church (Willmar)
801 Willmar Avenue SW
Willmar, MN 56201

Memorial Service
January 6, 2024

11:00 AM
First Covenant Church (Willmar)
801 Willmar Avenue SW
Willmar, MN 56201

Video is available for this event


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