Cover photo for James "Jim" Leary's Obituary
James "Jim" Leary Profile Photo
1940 James "Jim" 2023

James "Jim" Leary

October 13, 1940 — March 5, 2023

Jim Leary, 82, spent his entire 40-year career with North Dakota State Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, died Sunday, March 5th after a long illness.

A service livestream will be available for viewing at the following link:

Mass of Christian burial will be held at 11:00 AM, Saturday, March 18 (not March 11), at Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, 519 Raymond St, Bismarck.

Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church.

A graveside burial service will occur in the spring at Moorhead Memorial Gardens near Moorhead, MN, the date is yet to be determined.

He was born in 1940 to Bill and Margaret Leary in Fargo, ND, where he spent his first 6 years.  He moved with his family to Eden Prairie, MN, where he lived until they relocated to Moorhead, MN, in 1957.  He graduated from Moorhead State College Campus High School and then from Moorhead State College. His Master’s Degree was earned at NDSU. 

He married Gail Nokken in 1963 and they had four children.  His spare time included volunteer work with many agencies. His favorite place was at the volunteer desk in the State Capitol.  He enjoyed hunting, fishing, reading, French dressing on hash browns, travel, telling dry jokes and drinking dry Gibsons, refereeing soccer matches, cookies, and singing church choir and barbershop music. He was a proud member of the Bismarck Area Sigma Chi Alumni Chapter. His love of family and friends was evident as he spent time with them.  

He is survived by his wife, Gail, of Bismarck; daughters Sheila of Boulder Creek, CA, and Sara of Minneapolis, MN; sons, Pete (Dasa) of Alexandria, VA, and Phil (Lisa) of Chicago, IL; three grandchildren, Emilio, Elena, and Alex; and a sister, Ann Hoover of Berkeley, CA.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Jack and Tom; and his sisters, Jane Hansen and Kay King.

Memorials may be given to the Bismarck Emergency Food Pantry located at 1012 South 12th Street Bismarck ND 58504 or the charity of one’s choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James "Jim" Leary, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, March 18, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Cathedral of the Holy Spirit

519 Raymond St, Bismarck, ND 58501


Click to watch

Visitation will begin at 10:00 AM.

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