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James "Jim" Felton Dowson
March 14, 1941 ~ September 30, 2023 (age 82) 82 Years Old
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James (Jim) Felton Dowson 3-14-41 - 9-30-23 Jim was born in Minneapolis March 14, 1941, to Bob and Peg Dowson. He grew up in N.E. Minneapolis where he attended Edison High School, graduating in 1959. In 1965 he met his future bride, Shirley Winkelman, both of whom worked in the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Jim and Shirley were married at First Methodist Church in St. Cloud, MN, on June 10, 1967, and to this union three children were born, Kimberly, Michelle and Jeffrey. Jim emulated his older brother, Dale, who was a Minneapolis Police Officer. Jim began his own career in Law Enforcement in 1963 serving as Chief of Police in Garrison, Mn. In 1964 he took on the job of Chief of Police in Eagle Bend, Mn. From 1965 to 1967 he was a Deputy Sheriff in Stearns County. In 1967 he was hired as a deputy in Cass County under Sheriff Bill Merrill. From 1974 to 1986 he served as Chief Deputy under Sheriff Louis Chalich. In 1986 he ran for the Sheriff’s position and was elected and served as Cass County Sheriff from 1987 to 2000. After retiring, he still felt the need to serve the wonderful people of Cass County so ran for County Commissioner in 2000 in the 4th District and served in the position from 2001 to 2014 at which time he officially retired. Jim served as director of the District 2 Minnesota Sheriff’s Association; Chaplain for the Minnesota State Sheriff’s Association for 10 years; was a part of the Net Six Drug Task Force; served on the Minnesota EMS board as an appointee by Gov. Arne Carlson; instituted a Senior Citizen’s TRIAD program in Cass County; re-instated the Sheriff’s Mounted Posse; instituted the Sheriff’s Chaplaincy program working with Pr. Ken Nyhusmoen, Pastor at Hope Lutheran Church in Walker at that time. He was a member of Hope Lutheran Church where he served on several boards and committees; past member of the Walker Jaycees, the Walker Lions and the Walker Rotary clubs. Served as Shingobee Township road supervisor; President of the Lakewood Acres Association; member of the Walker Coots; instituted the retired law enforcement breakfast at Jimmy’s Family Restaurant every Thursday morning. He was a member of Via de Cristo. Because of his jolly demeanor, he played Santa at First National Bank at their annual Christmas parties for several years. He was honored to be chosen as Grand Marshal of this past 4th of July parade in Walker by the Lions Club.
He is survived by his wife, Shirley, enjoying 56 years of marriage, daughters Kimberly (Doug) Fagerman; Michelle (Curt Geiger) Dowson and son Jeffrey Dowson all of Walker. Grandchildren, Lindsey, Amanda and Daniel; in-laws, nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Dale and wife Marlene and many other relatives.
Memorial services will be held on Saturday, October 7, 2023 at 12:00 noon with visitation from 11:00 a.m. to the time of the service. In lieu of flowers memorials preferred to Hope Lutheran Church or the Cass County Sheriff’s Office designated to either the Honor Guard or the Canine Unit.
Jim’s care has been entrusted to Northern Peace Funeral Home of Walker, MN. Online condolences for the family may be left at www.northernpeace.com