Cover photo for James Donald Slarks's Obituary
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1925 James 2017

James Donald Slarks

January 20, 1925 — June 27, 2017

J Donald Slarks, age 92 of St. Peter, passed away on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at Laurels Peak in Mankato.

 Memorial service is 11:00 am on Thursday, July 13 at Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Peter with visitation one hour prior.  Burial will be at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery with Honors.  St. Peter Funeral Home is assisting the family.

 Don was born on January 20, 1925 in Minneapolis to Albert and Laura Slarks.  He graduated from Minneapolis Roosevelt High School and then enlisted in the US Navy serving as a Seabee in the Asian-Pacific Theater during World War II.  He returned home and graduated from Augsburg College in Minneapolis.  Don was united in marriage to Marlys Barsness on June 13, 1950.  He worked as a high school teacher and athletic coach before continuing his education at Ball State in Muncie, IN where he was a graduate assistant teaching physical education courses.  He also did further graduate work toward his doctorate at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN.  Don and Marlys moved to St. Peter in 1954 where he was an assistant professor of Psychology, head wrestling coach, their first sports information director and administrator at Gustavus Adolphus College until retiring in 1992.  He enjoyed sports especially Gopher football, golf, playing poker with his GAC group and writing sports stories for the St. Peter Herald.

 Left to remember him are his loving children:  Gary (Judy) Slarks of Owatonna, Randy Slarks of North Mankato and Sandra Rose (Mark) Rheaume of Belle Plaine; grandchildren James P. Slarks, Scott D. Slarks, Melissa (Brendan) Kennedy, Matt Rheaume, Alisha Rheaume and Cody D. (Lauren) Slarks; and nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife of 60 years Marlys in 2010, brother Ivan Slarks and brother-in-laws Robert and David Barsness.

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