Red Tractor 06
Official Obituary of


June 6, 1952 ~ March 29, 2024 (age 71) 71 Years Old


James Ervin Richter, of Mora, passed away on Friday, March 29, 2024, at home surrounded by family.  He was 71 years old.

Known as Jim, Jimmy, occasionally Jimbo, and he playfully, with the kids took on “The Claw”, “The Terminator” and Bob Dylan through singing impersonations. He was known widely as a loving father, husband, and grandfather. Jim lived and breathed for his wife and family.

Jim was born on June 6, 1952, in Fargo, North Dakota to parents Ervin and Betty (Hugh) Richter. He spent the first 8 years of his life in Galesburg, North Dakota. His farming parents then tried out their luck at farming in Iowa for a couple of years but eventually settled on some land in Mora in 1962. This is where Jim remained even to the last moment of his life.

Jim would dairy farm all the way through 1993, until (to borrow a phrase from Springsteen, a favorite of Jim’s), “(milk) prices kept on dropping until it was like we were getting robbed”. Jim would continue to bale hay with his son all the way up to his diagnosis at age 69, in 2021. He climbed laboriously up onto his tractor to clean out the driveway for his wife even to the very end.

He had a fascinating life full of adventures, almost all of them revolving around volunteering or helping others. He survived a tornado in the 80s and again in the 90s, both storms of which lifted the roof off the old barn. He would then spare no time rebuilding it, just to have it entirely fall in one final windstorm in 2012. He bought an International 544 with his dad when he was 16, in 1968, and fought to keep that same tractor in the Richter namesake until this very day.

When it was time to have a family, he built an addition to the old house, and eventually built his wife a brand new house right next to the old one.

Jim was a jack of all trades, a true combination of Renaissance man and farmer; a man who absorbed the world and nurtured it into growth, but also an artist who allowed his art to chase after its own soul.

To his wife, Kathy, Jim’s Forever in Blue Jeans, he was a handsome and strong man, driven, loyal, warm, a jokester. The first time he met her, he knew that he was going to marry that girl. In marriage, his exhaustive toil was entirely for the chance to sit down with her on the couch at the end of the day. His first inner thought to any of life’s matters was about what “Kath” would think. While a stubborn man who prided himself in his strength outwardly, he knew (to his sometimes grumbling dismay) that his Kathy would melt his raw willfulness down and fashion it into a new tool, one exponentially stronger than what he ever had on his own.

Visual Arts in the school system in his era was void so Jim had to self-discover his prolific drawing talents, this a kernel planted, during the decade of Jim’s 20s. He then spent his 30s watering that kernel, drawing with and teaching his young son, Erich. Erich blossomed into a talented artist and chose to become an art educator. Erich once longed to continue the dairy farm of his forefathers but has found one of his own proverbially, through teaching.

His daughter Kayla was his “sunshine on a cloudy day… my girl” (as per the Temptations). Jim and Kayla bonded over softball and tennis, gardening, recreating Jim's favorite childhood desserts, small talk and hugs, and looking out for each other. Jim coached many championship Hillman Baptist church softball teams in the 2000’s and 2010’s. His pride was when he could hear the other teams strategize over placing their hits towards Kayla, because Kayla, his lily in the outfield, would then go and snag every single one of their attempts. This pride was not about her skill with softball, it was about his daughter’s grit in life.

Jim’s son, Jared, his Everglow, was his proof that God rewards the steadfast. Jared’s upbringing is the prime example of Jim’s ability to adapt and grow. Jim and Jared, pranksters and devoted sports fans, independent but reliant on each other, carved their own niches over cars, a true Earnhardt junior and senior, basketball, music, video games and movies. No son of Jim’s would be allowed to be the baby of the family, a fact Jim never once had to verbalize. Jim set the bar high through living and he proudly witnessed Jared become a righteous man wise beyond his own years. With elder siblings out of the house, Jared, Kathy, and Jim were quite the trio bound by love.

Jim would absolutely not like this reference, but there are many other things which he did that we suppose the books of the world could not contain them (John 21:25).

You lived a great life, Jim. Jesus explained the Kingdom of Heaven through parables. Jim, you would have explained heaven as driving the tractor straight into the cool breezy ending of a long, hard day, with a child on each fender and yet another in your lap, awaiting the cooking and the snuggles of your wife at home. May your crops continue to grow in eternity.

He was preceded in death by his parents, parents-in-law Howard and Doris Dalbey, and sister-in-law Carol Schindeldecker.

He is survived by his wife Kathy; children Erich (Alyssa), Kayla (A) Thor, and Jared (Rebekah); grandchildren, Isabelle, Emma, Jakob, Hannah, Ava, Lauren, Emily, and Ezra; sisters, Carol (John) Gaetz, Marie (Mike) Lynch, and Delores Richter; sisters and brothers-in-law, Phyllis (Gene) Bartsch, Wayne (Julie) Dalbey, Vicki (Mel) Vork, and Kirtes Hocum; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Mora with Pastor Mike Rue officiating.

Memorial Visitation will be held 1 hour prior to the service at the church.

A luncheon will follow the service.

A private family inurnment will be in the Oakwood Cemetery in Mora.


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Memorial Visitation
May 4, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Emmanuel Baptist - Mora
536 Union Street South
Mora, MN 55051

Memorial Service
May 4, 2024

11:00 AM
Emmanuel Baptist - Mora
536 Union Street South
Mora, MN 55051

May 4, 2024

12:00 PM
Emmanuel Baptist - Mora
536 Union Street South
Mora, MN 55051


Oakwood Cemetery


In lieu of flowers or trees, Memorials are preferred directly to the family.


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