James Mark. Hilgendorf, the son of Henry and Eliza (Kuehl) Hilgendorf, was born September 2, 1919, in Waverly Township, rural Ormsby, MN. He was baptized and confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Galena Township, rural Ormsby. Jim received his education at rural school District 115 and also attended Truman High School. He then attended the Agriculture Campus at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul. On October 27, 1940, Jim was united in marriage to Helen Johnson at Waverly Lutheran Church, rural Trimont, MN. He entered the U.S. Army on September 22, 1942, serving overseas as Lieutenant in the Pacific Theatre until he was honorably discharged on April 15, 1946. They made their home and farmed in Waverly Township. In 1950, Jim enrolled at Brown Institute in Minneapolis, MN and began a career in radio broadcasting using the radio name of "Jim Hill?. He was an announcer for KYSM Radio in Mankato, MN and WEAU Radio and Television in Eau Claire, WI, before joining WCCO Radio in Minneapolis in 1954 and they made their home in Bloomington and later Edina. For many years, he was the Associate Farm Service Director and news broadcaster for WCCO Radio and received many broadcasting awards. He was a well known public speaker and emcee appearing at many organizations and events throughout the Midwest. Following his radio career, he held public relations positions for many agri-business companies until his retirement. He and his wife made their home in Mesa, AZ for many years before moving to Fairmont in 1989. He was an active member of Grace Lutheran Church, past commander of the Foster-Bernhardt American Legion Post 373 and past president of the Martin County Farm Bureau.
Jim is survived by his wife of 66 years, Helen Hilgendorf of Alexandria, MN formerly of Fairmont, MN: three sons and daughters-in-law, Jim Hilgendorf and his wife, Jan of Shipshewana, IN, Keith Hilgendorf and his wife, Carol of Edina, MN, and Gregory Hilgendorf and his wife, Helen Jane of Alexandria, MN: one grandson, Peter Hilgendorf and his wife, Maren of Seattle, WA; two granddaughters, Allison Arndt and her husband, Nathan of Waconia, MN and Betsy Hilgendorf of Minneapolis, MN; and one great grandson, Van Hilgendorf of Seattle, WA. He was preceded in death by his parents and one grandson, Thomas Hilgendorf.