James “Jim” N. Wegner, 91 – Austin Daily Herald
James “Jim” Noel Wegner, 91, of Austin, Minnesota, passed away on Wednesday August 4, 2021 at St. Mark’s Living in Austin. James was born in Paynesville, Minnesota, to Raymond and Marvel (Grover) Wegner on July 25, 1930. He attended school in Paynesville and graduated in 1948. Jim then attended the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he graduated in 1953 with a diploma in arts education and a minor in humanities. Jim then served two years in the United States Army, putting his artistic talents to good use by brushing maneuver tables for 7th Army Headquarters. After his honorable discharge from service, he began a teaching post at Chisholm. In 1956, Jim accepted a position in Austin, which marked the start of a 38-year career. He spent 10 years with Austin Public Schools and 28 years with Riverland Community College, where the art gallery is named after him. On December 29, 1956, Jim married Catherine Brown during a snowstorm. The couple were kindergarten friends. Jim continued his education at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he earned a master’s degree in painting and art history. He studied with major artists at both the University of Colorado and the University of Minnesota Duluth. Jim was a master teacher for the London Dash for 22 years and for 24 years he organized tours of galleries / theaters in Chicago. He was an active volunteer and presenter with the Austin Art Center and also taught classes and organized open studio sessions for budding artists. Jim was a member of the First United Methodist Church, where he helped choose the organ, sang in the choir, and designed beautiful banners for the church. He was also a member of the American Legion Post 91 and Vision 2020. Jim has performed in numerous musical groups including Austin Male Chorus, Northwestern Singers and Express Male. He was president of the Mower County Horticulture Society and the Minnesota Art Educators for several years. He loved gardening, photography and traveling. While traveling, Jim documented his travels through drawings. He will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Survivors include his wife, Catherine Wegner of Austin, Minnesota; sister, Carolyn Swyter of Paynesville, Minnesota and twin sister, Jean Moe of Paynesville, Minnesota; sister-in-law, Betty (Robert) Havens; special niece, Susie (Michael) Putrzke of Paynesville, Minnesota; and other nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Raymond and Marvel Wegner.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Monday August 16, 2021, at the Chapel of Worlein Funeral Home in Austin. Visits will take place one hour before the service. Private interment will be held at Paynesville Cemetery, Paynesville, Minnesota at a later date. Military honors by American Legion Post 91 and VFW Post 1216. Memorials are preferred at the Austin Area Art Center or the First United Methodist Church. Services are pre-arranged and performed by Worlein Funeral Home of Austin. Condolences can be expressed to the family online at www.worlein.com.