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Rev. James Harbaugh

James Franklin Harbaugh Jr.’s spirit returned to the Lord on January 19, 2023, at 11:10 a.m. He died peacefully with his beloved wife and daughters at his side. He was 68.

Jim was a son of Jim Sr. and Ethel Harbaugh of Tuscola. He was a faithful servant of the Lord as a teacher, musician, singer, scholar, volunteer, parishioner, and ELCA pastor. He was called to serve 11 congregations in Indiana, Manitoba, northeastern Illinois, and northwest Iowa from 1980 to 2020. After Jim’s retirement in 2020, he and his wife Jan relocated to the Twin Cities of Minnesota to be near their grandchildren.

Jim is preceded in death by his parents, James Sr. and Ethel Harbaugh; and his brother-in-law, Mike Ekstrom. He is survived by his wife, Janice; his daughters, Christine Schwab, Maria (Dan) Cote (Dan), and Joanna (Adam) Biessener; four beloved grandchildren, Charlotte, Ellie, Davey, and Jamie; and his brother, Terry (Rhonda); and sister, CindyEkstrom.

A celebration of Jim’s life will be held at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Minn., on Friday, January 27, at 11 a.m. with visitation one hour prior. The service will be live streamed on YouTube and recorded for friends and loved ones across the country who are unable to travel. Please visit to offer condolences or share a memory of Jim.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Jim’s memory to Lutheran World Relief, Mount Olive Lutheran Church, or The Society of the Holy Trinity.

Gill Brothers, 612-861-6088;

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