Cover photo for James Brunelle's Obituary
James Brunelle Profile Photo
1959 James 2023

James Brunelle

October 20, 1959 — August 22, 2023

To watch a recording of Jim's memorial service, click the following link.

James Timothy Brunelle, (Jim) , 63, passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, August 22. He lived a wonderful life filled with laughter, family, friends and all things Packers.

Jim was born October 20, 1959 to Pat and Betty (Ryberg) Brunelle in Mandan, ND. He attended school in Mandan and graduated in 1978. He worked several jobs in the Bismarck-Mandan area until moving to Grand Forks in 1993.

He was employed by Katz Screen Printing and at Surefoot, Inc in Grand Forks.

Jim was the perpetual jokester sharing many “Jim jokes” and always had a smile, hug, and playful tease with everyone he met. He loved spending time with his kids, visiting with old and new friends, his neighbors and was very proud of his relationship with his many nieces and nephews. The neighbors all knew he was home by the constant music, Packer football game or audiobooks blaring loudly from the back yard.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Pat Brunelle and Betty Brunelle-Taghon.

He is survived by his partner of 31 years, Kathy Detke and the three children he helped to raise, Jess (Dan) Jurgens, Austin TX, Brad (Kassie) Gorder, Williston, ND, and Crystal Gorder, Eagan, MN.

His grandchildren, Marley Basting(17) Nolan Gorder (13) and Nora Gorder (6) , Ellix Jurgens (5) and Dax Jurgens (1), were his greatest joy and he loved every minute he got to spend with them or Facetime with them.

Surviving siblings include Kathy (Bob) Jerke, Mandan, ND, Bob (Peggy) Brunelle, Bismarck, ND, Marilyn Westerholm, Fargo, ND, and Nancy (Glen) Vigen, Fargo, ND. He is survived by 21 nieces, nephews, their spouses, many great nieces and nephews.   

A celebration of life will be held at the Amundson Funeral Home on Saturday, August 26,2023.  Visitation is from 1-2pm followed by “A tribute to Jim”, as he requested, at 2pm.

In Jim’s non-traditional way of doing life we acknowledge all of the friends, family, all who considered him “Papa Jim” and all those who loved him as honorary pallbearers. Feel free to support Jim by wearing Packer gear or tie dye, he would be honored and love it!

To order memorial trees in memory of James Brunelle, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, August 26, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Celebration of Life Service

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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