Cover photo for James Brownfield's Obituary
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1921 James 2022

James Brownfield

September 13, 1921 — January 31, 2022

Morris, MN

Funeral services for James Melvin Brownfield of Morris, MN will be held Friday, February 4, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at the Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris, with Reverend Matthew Orendorff officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the Pedersen Funeral Home. Burial will be in Summit Cemetery in Morris.

James Melvin Brownfield was born on September 13, 1921, in Humboldt County, Iowa to Joseph and Zula (Smith) Brownfield. Growing up James was always considered brave with a strong moral compass, which would serve him well when he enlisted in the United States Air Force on December 26, 1942. During his two years of service in Europe, he was awarded a bronze star for his efforts in the Battle of the Bulge. Upon his discharge on November 11, 1945, James moved back to Iowa where he purchased an oil business. Shortly after, James married Shirley Ann Anderson on June 11, 1947, and the two delighted in having four daughters. In 1966 he got out of the oil industry and moved his family to a farm south of Chokio, MN.  Being a steward of the land was a natural calling for James, he was always known as a hardworking farmer, and many liked to tease he “gardened until he just couldn’t anymore.” James ran his farming operation until 1990, when he left Chokio and purchased a home in Morris.

James’s family and friends will not only remember him by his work ethic, but also by his fun-loving nature. He loved to tease, be mischievous, and make people laugh. He was an animal-lover, fisherman, and occasional camper. Memories of his annual hog roast for friends and neighbors will be left to cherish by many.

James passed away on Monday, January 31, 2022, at West Wind Village in Morris; he was 100 years old.

James is survived by his daughters: Denise (Bob) Murphy of Minneapolis, MN, Cheryl (Darin) Frank of Willmar, MN, Cathy (Randy) Boe of Morris, MN; one sister, Shirley Joiner of Ft. Dodge, IA; grandchildren: Jesse (Brittney) Boe of Barnesville, MN, John (Krista) Skow of Ankeny, IA, Teresa (Randy) Koster of Oswego, IL, Stacy (Trent) Dorothy of Ft. Dodge, IA; one son-in-law, Kenneth Zinnel of Ft. Dodge, IA; as well as many beloved nieces, nephews, and great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Shirley; daughter, Bonita Zinnel; special friend Marie VanDyke; one brother; and eight sisters.

Pedersen Funeral Home is in care of arrangements for James.

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

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, February 4, 2022

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, February 4, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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


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