Cover photo for James Walter Shell's Obituary
James Walter Shell Profile Photo
1949 James 2019

James Walter Shell

September 29, 1949 — March 16, 2019

 James Walter Shell, age 69 of Welcome, passed away on Saturday, March 16, 2019 at Heartland Senior Living in Truman.

Visitation will be from 1-3pm on Saturday, March 30, 2019 at Zaharia Family Funeral Home in Truman. There will be no formal service. Inurnment will be at a later date in Welcome City Cemetery, Welcome, MN.  Zaharia Family Funeral Home is entrusted with arrangements.

James was born September 29, 1949 in Fairmont to Lawrence Harold and Isabel Irene (Pattee) Shell. He is one of two children. He attended school in Welcome and graduated with the class of 1967.  He went on to attend Worthington Junior College and Southwest Minnesota State College in Marshall earning his degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology.

On December 12, 1970, he married Catherine Kocak in Jackson. To this union three sons, Joel, Ryan and Adam, were born.  After 18 years of marriage they divorced.

            Shortly after graduating, he started his work career at Ag-Chem, Lor-Al and Fairmont Railway Motors in the design and experimental departments including the inception of Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) programing.   

In the spring of 1988, Jim moved to an acreage in Welcome.  Along with Jim Hill, a friend from a church prayer group, they formed JIM mfg Inc, where they designed and built mobile trailer washing machines, known as VADERS.  In 1993, he ventured on his own, forming Mobile Fleet Cleaning Service, working in the Twin Cities, using his VADER machine.

            Through the years, Jim was involved with many groups including, Bass Seekers of Fairmont, “Old Timers” Hockey, Fairmont Saddle Club and the Welcome Lions Club. While on a trail ride at Perch Lake Park, he met Delight (Roberts) Kennedy; they married October 10, 1998. Together they enjoyed horseback riding, camping and traveling; with Forestville State Park, near Preston, MN, as a favorite place to go. Jim and Dee spent many evenings walking down the remarkable tree-lined lane on the farm or sitting by the fire.

            On March 6, 2001, Jim had a kidney transplant at the University of Minnesota. It gifted him with 18 more years of life, but his health was never the same.  He spent a handful of years working locally until formally retiring in 2008. In his newfound retirement, he spent his time cutting wood, tending to the horses and tinkering on equipment.

            After 29 years on the farm, when his health declined, Jim moved to Truman Senior Living, but he always kept Welcome in his heart. He was a humble and kind man, caring deeply for his family and friends. He will be remembered for his dry humor and one-liners. The boys will always treasure their time growing up on the farm with their dad.

Jim is survived by his wife of 20 years, Delight “Dee” Shell of Truman; sons, Joel (Marcella) Shell of San Antonio, TX, Ryan (Nichole) Shell of Truman and Adam Shell of Fairmont; grandson, Braeden Shell; stepsons, Dale (Kara) Kennedy of Blue Earth and Dustin (Jessie) Kennedy of Ceylon; step-grandchildren, Ariel, Alexis, Jamie, Payten, Kiley, Dylan, Sophia, Trent, Tiara, Lincoln and Skyler; step-great grandchildren, Alayna, Leira, Amara, Mylah and Macy; brother, John Shell of Welcome as well as many other relatives and friends including classmates.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, March 30, 2019

1:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)


102 E Ciro St, Truman, MN 56088

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