James Patrick Wachter, 82, Bismarck, died peacefully at home surrounded by family March 18, 2008. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, March 24, at Church of the Ascension, Bismarck, with the Rev. Marvin Klemmer officiating. Private family burial will be held in St. Mary's Cemetery, Bismarck.
Visitation will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday and 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday at Parkway Funeral Service, 2330 Tyler Parkway, Bismarck, where vigil will begin at 7 p.m. Sunday.
Jim was born March 13, 1926, in Bismarck, the son of Eugene and Helen (Brosnahan) Wachter. He attended St. Mary's Grade School and High School. At the age of 17, Jim entered the U.S. Navy in 1943 and served in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. Following his honorable discharge in 1947, Jim returned to Bismarck and attended BJC. He joined his father in operating the family cattle ranch in Morton, Burleigh and Oliver Counties. Jim married Roberta Hogue Feb. 18, 1950, in Bismarck. They made their home in Bismarck and Jim continued working on the family ranch.
Jim had a deep respect and love for the land. In addition to working hard developing and improving his cattle operations, he had a passion for breeding championship quarter horses. He was always looking forward to his next project and creating innovative ways to improve the ranch. Jim was a man with vision, who, along with his cousin, Paul Wachter Jr., followed their dreams in developing the first large enclosed shopping center in North Dakota: Kirkwood Mall. They also developed many of the commercial properties in Bismarck's south side, including Kirkwood Motor Inn (Ramkota), Kirkwood Office Tower and Kirkwood Bank among other businesses. What we now enjoy as the Bismarck Civic Center was once where the Wachter cattle yards were located.
Jim's family was one of the early settlers in Bismarck and Jim took much pride in supporting the community and contributing to Bismarck's development. Jim was very proud to have served on Thomas and Frances Leach Foundation for 31 years and liked seeing the benefits the board accomplished. He was a charter member of Apple Creek Country Club, board member of St. Alexius Hospital, a director of Kirkwood Bank, a lifetime member and on the board of North Dakota Stockmen's association, on the board of trustees at University of Mary and a lifetime member of Elks.
For 25 years, Jim and Roberta loved spending time with family and friends at their summer home on Pelican Lake, Minn., and had enjoyed many lasting friendships. Jim and Roberta traveled extensively, including a number of special trips to Grunbach, Germany, where Jim's family originated, visiting and staying with the German Wachter family who still own and operate one of the community's first hotels built in 1803. In retirement, Jim enjoyed working in his yard and flower gardens.
Above all else, Jim loved his wife and family and made them the center of his life. Jim was very proud of his children and grandchildren and their accomplishments; he always had fun going to and hearing about all their activities.
Jim is survived by his wife, Roberta; his sons, Patrick (Louise) Wachter and Michael (Kelly) Wachter, all of Bismarck; his daughters, Cindy (Michael) Huelskamp, Bismarck, and Carolyn (Michael) Marak, Bend, Ore.; his grandchildren, Daniel Keith, Jessica Wachter, Alexa Wachter and Sarah Wachter, all of Bismarck; his sister, Ann Benrud, Bismarck; and his extended family, Kim and Corey Dahl, Gail and Tim Meland and Craig and Lea Huelskamp and their families.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Eugene and Helen; his brother, Charles Wachter; and his sisters, Mary Wachter Reardon and Jane Wachter Wall.
The family prefers memorials be given to University of Mary, Shiloh Christian School, Medcenter One Hospice and Bismarck Young Life.
Go to www.parkwayfuneral.com to share memories of Jim and sign the online guest book.