Dr. James B. Duerre

James Byron Duerre, 61, of Grafton, passed peacefully Tuesday afternoon April 30, 2013, at home with loved ones. A generous, humble dentist, Jim’s legacy is marked by community involvement, leadership, sports and recreational activities and a contagious love for life.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, May 4, at 1 p.m. at St. Johns Catholic Church in Grafton. The family will receive visitors from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 3, at St. Johns with a prayer service immediately following.

Jim was born in Kenmare on Nov. 12, 1951, to Byron and Joyce (Grengs) Duerre. Jim was raised on a farm outside of Sherwood where he graduated from high school in 1969. He then attended Minot State University, majoring in biology. This is where he met the love of his life and wife of 38 years, Joen (Lindstrom) Duerre. They exchanged vows July 13, 1974.

Before enrolling at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, Jim worked as a public health inspector in western North Dakota. He received his doctorate in dental science in December 1978. He then bought a practice in Grafton, where he was a well-loved dentist until 2012.

Jim shared that his most precious memories were the births of his four daughters: Lori (Chris) Johnecheck, of Williamston, Mich.; Lisa (John) Kyvig, of Andover, Minn.; Rachel Duerre, of Ames, Iowa; and Britni (Bobby) Volesky, of West Fargo. Jim treasured his five grandchildren: Brooke, Ryker, Camden, Ellyn and Ryan. He is also survived by his parents; brother, Steve (Trish) Duerre; sister, Jill (David) Bond; and nieces, nephews and cousins.

Jim absolutely loved spending time with his family, especially at the family cabin on Maple Lake. Jim was a water skiing, snow skiing, running, basketball, archery and motorcycle enthusiast. He was also famous for playing “House of the Rising Sun” on the piano. His encouraging presence could be heard at cross country, track, volleyball, and basketball events. Always supportive, he never missed a single cross country meet from 1993 to 2003.

Active in the community, Jim held various leadership roles, including president, in the Optimist, Jaycees and Northern Lights Archery Club. He enjoyed serving in church as a eucharistic minister, member of the finance committee and Mass lecturer. Jim was also involved as a 4th Degree Knight with the Knights of Columbus, where he served as the Grand Knight for council 3918.

Jim was so appreciative of the community support he and his family received during his battle with cancer. Dr. Duerre felt it important to pay kindness forward.

Memorial contributions may be made to: the “Dr. James Duerre Pay it Forward Fund.” This money will be used to provide financial assistance to local children receiving chemotherapy or organ transplants.

Arrangements are by Tollefson Funeral Home, Grafton. Please share your memories of Jim online at (tollefsonfuneralhome.com).