Cover photo for James "Jim" R. Deike's Obituary
James "Jim" R. Deike Profile Photo

James "Jim" R. Deike

November 13, 1950 — June 24, 2021

James "Jim" R. Deike

James “Jim” Russell Deike, 70, passed away peacefully but unexpectedly on June 24, 2021 at Mayo Clinic Hospital, St. Mary's Campus in Rochester, MN. Jim maintained his humor to the end, joking with the hospital staff and his wife and daughters who he affectionately referred to as his ‘girls’.

A Celebration of Jim’s Life will be at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, July 1, 2021 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Mankato.  A visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m., Wednesday, June 30th at Mankato Mortuary, 1001 N. Riverfront Drive, Mankato and will continue one hour before service at the church on Thursday.  Interment will be in Glenwood Cemetery, Mankato.  Memorials preferred to the ALS Association of MN in memory of his friend and brother-in-law Jon Nelson.

Please share a memory of Jim with his family online at

Jim was born November 13, 1950 in St. Paul MN. He and his younger brother Tom were raised in North Mankato by their parents Russ and Betty Deike. Jim was also privileged to meet and have meaningful relationships with three additional biological siblings later in life. 

Jim met his beloved wife Christine “Chris” Nelson in 1970 and they were married August 27, 1972 in Chokio, MN. Jim and Chris shared their first kiss on the historic Kern Bridge and he was never shy about his affection for his wife from that moment on. They raised three daughters, Anna, Elly and Amy in the Mankato area, later relocating to Lake Washington. Each of his girls was of the utmost importance to him. He also enjoyed spending time with his seven grandchildren who loved his sense of humor, thoughtfulness, kindness and hugs. 

Jim graduated from Mankato High School in 1968 and joined the National Guard in 1970. He became the President of August Deike Transfer (Deike Trux) in 1979. Deike Trux was started by Jim’s great grandfather in 1886. Jim worked for the family business from a young age starting by cleaning out trucks, painting bumpers, filling tires and sweeping floors. He started full time in 1968 as rate clerk, then driver. Jim was an entrepreneur and started several additional businesses. He sold Deike Trux in 1998 but never really retired, continuing to go to his office nearly every day, and enjoying lunches with his many friends. Jim was also Secretary of the Lake Washington Sanitary District for several years.

Jim loved to tell stories and he had a lot to tell! He truly enjoyed life. Some antics in his youth involved waterskiing on sneakers nailed to 2x4s, barefoot, and behind dirt bikes. The antics continued throughout life including helicopter-snow-skiing in Utah and again in British Columbia for his 50th birthday. He sailed for many years with family and friends and even earned his captain’s license. He fulfilled a long-time dream when he purchased a Mastercraft ski boat in 1994. He and Chris learned to golf together and he enjoyed playing and watching the game for much of his life. 

Jim could be described as singing and dancing his way through life. He loved playing his guitar and he sang in the Minnesota Valley Chorale for several years. He took very good care of those he loved and his compassion, patience, generosity and wisdom will be missed. His goofy sense of humor and one-liners (‘Jim-isms’) were infectious.

Jim is survived by his wife of 49 years, Christine Deike; children, Anna Deike of North Mankato, Elizabeth Noone (Stephen) of Oakdale NY, and Amy Deike (Joel Anderson) of Mankato; grandchildren, Isabelle, Kyra, Mae, Finn, Calvin, Clara and Samuel; siblings, Mary Grina (Scott Peters), Betz Ulrich (Taum), Tom Deike (Denise) and Rose Tieman; and several nieces and nephews.

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

Past Services


Wednesday, June 30, 2021

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Bethlehem Lutheran Church

720 S 2nd St, Mankato, MN 56001

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 74

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree