James E. Libis


Springfield, SD

July 6, 2020

James E. Libis, was born in Eureka, S.D., August 14, 1944. He died July 6, 2020 at Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton at the age of 75 after a nine month battle with cancer.

Funeral Mass was held on Friday July 10 at St. Vincent’s Catholic Church in Springfield, S.D. 

Jim was raised in the Eureka area and graduated from Eureka High School in 1962. He was drafted into the US Army and proudly served from 1965 to 1967, including a stint in Vietnam. Jim rapidly rose through the ranks and eventually became Chief of a radio team in the Signal Corps. He was honorably discharged and was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and Good Conduct Medal for his service. 

Following his military service, Jim attended the University of South Dakota at Springfield receiving a Bachelors of Science in 1972. Jim continued with summer courses eventually earning his Masters of Arts in Education from USD in Vermilion.

Jim married Zoa Van Winkle, August 21, 1970 at St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Tyndall, S.D. They moved to Isabel in August of 1975, where they both were educators. Jim was employed by Northwest Area Schools, first as an electronics/electricity instructor and then as a vocational director. Zoa was employed by the Isabel Schools District as a teacher and coach. They have three sons: Craig, Cory, and Chris.

In 1983, they moved to Springfield and became owners of Jim’s TV & Appliance. Jim later started the Springfield Cable Company and owned the local laundromat. Jim eventually retired from the Mike Durfee State Prison as a Facilities Manager. During his career he served his community in many ways: St. Vincent Parish Council, Springfield Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Corporation, Springfield Baseball Association and many years as a volunteer firefighter with the Springfield Fire Department. 

Jim cherished the time he spent with his family, grandchildren, annual pheasant hunting trips, and was lifelong Minnesota Twins and Vikings fan.

He is survived by his wife, Zoa, three sons and nine grandchildren: Craig (Stephanie) of Dell Rapids and children Connor, Addison, and Cooper, Cory (Angie) of Omaha and children Julia, Henry, and Andrew, and Chris (Jen) of Prescott, AZ and children Carter, Zoe, and Rayne. He is also survived by his brothers: John (Vicki) of Dell Rapids, Lenny (Sue) of Lake Havasu City, AZ, Richard (Sandy) of Sioux Falls, and sister Mary (Mike) Hansen of Sioux Falls;  brothers-in-law: Ken (Carol) Van Winkle of University Place, WA and Gary Van Winkle of Ft. Collins, CO; sister-in-law: Peg (Wayne) Winckler of Tyndall and many nieces, nephews, and dear friends.

He was welcomed into Heaven by his parents: Edward & Laura, in-laws Romain & Alice Van Winkle and brother in-law Rick (Sheryl) Van Winkle.