James Charles Donlinger
Thursday, January 1, 1942
Date of Death:
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
79 years old
James Charles Donlinger
James C. “Jim” Donlinger, beloved son, father, and grandfather, passed away on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 at the age of 79. Jim was known to many in the local community as a prominent real estate developer and, in his early years, as a superb Golden Gloves boxer.
He came into this world on January 1st, 1942, the ninth of 11 children born to Leo and Agnes Dondlinger of Wabasha County. He attended Lourdes High School and St. Marys College in Winona, before earning a master’s degree from Mankato State College, now known as Minnesota State University Mankato. While at Mankato State, he worked as a Foreign Student Advisor and established the Study Abroad program.
In his late teens and early twenties, Jim competed in the local Golden Gloves amateur boxing program. A hard working and highly skilled boxer, he ultimately fought his way to the heavyweight national championship match in 1965.
Jim deeply valued community service and giving back, serving as a volunteer boxing coach and later as a volunteer counselor for the Federal Medical Center here in Rochester. In the 1970’s he founded the Rochester Youth Employment Project (YEP), establishing it as a non-profit organization with a community board of directors.
He cherished spending time with family and friends and often emphasized the importance of maintaining strong friendships. A very supportive father, he spent hours playing and watching sports with his sons and their friends. Jim loved listening to music and enjoyed getting out on the dance floor to bust a move. Much to the chagrin of his sons, he also had a fondness for performing cheesy magic tricks and telling corny jokes. Most importantly though, he was a generous and caring person who always made the time to help others in any way that he could. He will be sorely missed by those who knew him best.
He is survived by sons Brian Donlinger of Dallas, TX, Ravuth Graham of Houston, TX, and three grandsons. Other survivors include sisters Charlotte (Richard) Spurck of Rochester, Kathleen “Kay” Blattner of Millville; brothers Kenneth (Rita) Dondlinger of Kellogg, Dale (Judy) Donlinger of Rochester, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by brothers Leo, Jr., who died in childhood, Richard, John “Jack”, Donald, and Robert, and sister Shirley Mahon.
The memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, October 8, 2021 in the River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service on Friday.
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The family of James Charles Donlinger has received the following condolences.
So sorry for your loss. Jim was a good friend. I’m thinking of you. Janet Washburn Lang
My condolences to the Donlinger family. Jim and I were close friends back in the days of baseball, and boxing at MILLVILLE MN.
I did not know Jim well but did she him box one night at the amory. Sounds like he lived a full and wonderful life.
Prayers to him and his family.