Berens, James Robert

Age 72, died on January 7, 2019, at his home in Saint Paul. Jim was born on March 6, 1946, in Saint Paul to Robert J. and Lorraine (O’Brien) Berens. He grew up in New Ulm MN and graduated from Cathedral High School in 1964; from the [the] College of St. Thomas in 1968; and the University of Minnesota School of Law in 1971. He married the former Lois Munsell on December 20, 1969, and the couple moved to Iowa where Jim accepted the job of Assistant General Counsel at Dial Financial Corporation in Des Moines. He rose through the ranks of that company, to General Counsel, Vice President, and eventually President of what had become Wells Fargo Financial Company. Jim retired from that job in 1999. Jim then became active in a number of charities in Des Moines: Treasurer and then President of the Holy Family Inner City School Foundation, member of the Dowling Catholic High School Foundation Board, trustee of the Des Moines Metro Opera Foundation Board of Trustees; president of the Catholic Tuition Organization; and board member of Birthright. In 2010, the Berenses moved to Saint Paul, where Jim became active with Saint Agnes School and the Finance Council of the Church of Saint Agnes parish. He was an advisor to several parishes on the archdiocesan bankruptcy proceedings. He was a University of Minnesota football fan for his entire life, and an ardent follower of college basketball, especially the teams from Drake University, the teams of Coach Bob Knight, and Slippery Rock University. Jim is survived by his wife of 49 years, Lois, his sister Mary (William) Rogers, his brother William (Jane) Berens, nephew Rob (Jessie) Rogers, and nieces Amy Rogers, Molly Rogers, Maggie (Nick) Wake, Betsy (John) Funk, and Katie (Dan) Fugina, and great-nephews and -nieces. Mass of Christian Burial 11:30 AM Thursday, January 10 at the Church of St. Agnes, 535 Thomas Ave., St. Paul. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Visitation at church 1 hour prior to Mass. Memorials may be made to Holy Family School, 1265 E 9th St, Des Moines IA 50316, or Saint Agnes School, 530 Lafond Avenue, Saint Paul MN 55103.

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