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James G. Efta, 94

James G. Efta was born on July 25, 1920 in Barto Township, Roseau County, MN to Joseph and Victoria (Blawat) Efta.  He passed away peacefully a Villa St. Vincent Nursing Home in Crookston, MN on December 29, 2014 at the age of 94 years, 6 months, and 4 days.
James is survived by his son James A. Efta (Cynthia) and daughters Elaine Lauer (Dick), Virginia Efta, and foster daughter Jeanne Huerd. Brothers   Edward Efta, Raymond Efta and sisters Irene Walter and Theresa Vatthauer, 7 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Early in his life the family moved to Montana for several years but returned to Leo community where James graduated from Greenbush High School.
James is a World War II veteran who proudly served his country as a Paratrooper with the 17th Airborne Division. He married Berniece  Bialke on December 30, 1944 in Greenbush and enjoyed 50 years of marriage before her death in 1995.
After the war he began farming in the Greenbush community and for many years he successfully ran the family farm. In addition to farming, James was active in the community, serving on the Barto town board, the school board as its president, and later as a property assessor for the county. He was also a longtime member of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Greenbush, Knights of Columbus, American Legion Post #88, and Blessed Sacrament Men’s Club.  He and Berniece also opened their home to foster children and parented several through the years.
A longtime dream of being a pilot came true when James bought a Cessna airplane, took flying lessons and as a private pilot flew all over Minnesota and as far as Montana clipping phone lines along the way.
As an avid fisherman he enjoyed fishing both hard and blue water. He loved taking Berniece, their children and grandchildren on fishing trips to the Lake of the Woods. Another sporting passion was deer hunting and many hours were spent chasing the big buck. Successful or not, hunting partners enjoyed his many stories told at countless camp fires.
James and Berniece enjoyed traveling and spent winter months visiting family and friends around the country. James always enjoyed wood working and had a passion for building beautiful rocking chairs. He said that he lost count of how many rockers he made, but at least 200 are now proudly being used by family and friends.
James often enjoyed “a pull” and always began by saying “Na zdrowie!” (To your health).  As family and friends we say to James “Dziekuje” (Thank you) for always being there for us.
Mass of Christian Burial was held at 10:00AM, Monday, January 5, 2015 at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Greenbush with Fr. Craig Vasek presiding.  Jeanne Novacek was the Organist and Darcy Hasson was the Song Leader.  Scott Wehner was the Reader for the Mass and John Wilebski III was the Altar Server.  Eucharistic Ministers were James’s daughter Elaine Lauer and Foster daughter Jeanne Huerd.  James’s grand daughters Susan Seaman and Paige Lauer were Gift Bearers.  Casket Bearers were Scott Wehner, Tim Wehner, Dan Drake, Kyle Gustafson, Robbie Christianson, and Joel Howard.  Military Honors were accorded by the Greenbush American Legion Post #88.
Visitation was held after 6:00PM, Sunday, at the Church with a Prayer Service at 7:00PM and Holy Rosary following led by the Knights of Columbus.  Visitation was also held one hour prior to services at the church.
Interment services were held at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Cemetery in Greenbush following services.
Arrangements are with Collins Funeral Home of Greenbush.
An online guest book is available at

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