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James Frederick Maijala, 81, of Grand Rapids, died Jan. 10, 2017 in Grand Itasca Hospital with his wife and son at his side.

James was born June 28, 1935 to Fred and Esther (Rintala) Maijala in Duluth.

He was a graduate of Duluth Central High School and continued his education at Dunwoody Institute. He also served in the United States Naval Reserve. James was married to Patricia (Bissell) on June 28, 1958 in Duluth..

James' professional career included 33 years with the City of Duluth as Zoning Coordinator for the City Planning Office as well as Building Inspection Office. He retired in 1993 to Grand Rapids to enjoy the lake life in his retirement as well as spending winters in Texas and Florida with family.

James participated in a variety of sports including running, completing several Grandma's Marathons, cross-country skiing in several 51K American Birkebeiners, bicycling and golf. He also enjoyed trout fishing on his lake, hunting, woodworking, building their past two family homes, and creating personal gifts for family and friends. James also realized a personal goal by obtaining his private pilot's license at age 70. He was very proud of his Finnish heritage and also had a dry sense of humor that everyone enjoyed.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Patricia; his son, Joseph of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; the Bissell family; as well as his adopted relatives, the Thompson and Wilkus families.

The Maijala family would like to thank Alyssa, Rachel, Ryan and the medical staff of Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center in Duluth, who provided kind and compassionate care in James' final days.

VISITATION: 12 Noon until the 1 p.m. service on Saturday, Jan. 14, in Rowe Funeral Home, 510 N.W. 1st Ave., Grand Rapids, MN 55744. Pastor Aaron Thompson will officiate.

Arrangements are with Rowe Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Grand Rapids.

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