June 21, 1927-April 11, 2018
MASON CITY - James Robert Jorgen, 90, of Mason City, died Wednesday (April 11, 2018) at Mercy Medical Center of North Iowa in Mason City.
Per his wishes, a funeral service will not be held.
Jim was born on June 21, 1927 in Cloquet, Minnesota to Harold and Ruth Jorgenrud. His family moved to Clear Lake, Iowa, where his parents and Uncle Carl Engdahl founded and operated the Ben Franklin Store on Main Avenue, now occupied by Larson Mercantile. He was graduated from Clear Lake high school in 1945. He attended the University of Iowa before transferring to the University of Minnesota, where he was graduated with a B.A in 1948. He spent the following year on a fellowship to Oxford University in England before returning to the United States to earn his master's degree from Harvard University. He was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa while at Harvard. He attended the University of Virginia for three years, completing his course work for a doctoral degree. However, he decided not to continue to pursue a Ph.D., but chose instead to accept a teaching position at Berwick Academy, a prep school in Maine. During the summers he traveled extensively, completing several tours of Europe, and also continued to take classes at various institutions, including the University of California at Berkeley, UCLA, and Princeton. In 1975, he retired from teaching and started a second career in New York City as the Manhattan manager for the Instafax Corporation, the creators of the fax machine. Subsequently he proceeded to Wall Street where he worked for the New York Stock Exchange publishing house. In 1983, he became Treasurer of US Travel, a Manhattan travel agency, which allowed him to pursue traveling with greater freedom. One of his most memorable travels was to the ancient family estate 'Jorgenrud' near the town of Ski, Norway. He officially retired in June of 1992 on his 65th birthday. After his retirement, he moved to Mason City and continued traveling, concentrating on travel in Europe and Washington, D.C. Apart from traveling, he has devoted his retirement years to his third career - writing historical fiction. Much of his research was done at the Library of Congress in Washington. He published eight novels.
He is survived by his sister, Janet and by four nephews and nieces: Adele, DeAnn, Adam, and Jerry.
Hogan-Bremer-Moore Colonial Chapel, 126 3rd St. NE, Mason City. (641)423-2372. ColonialChapels.com