James Michael Breska, 71, passed away on Dec. 31, 2019, at his home in Pine City after losing his battle with a rare kidney cancer.

Jim was born on July 7, 1948, in Moose Lake, Minnesota, to George and Alice (Laska) Breska. He spent his first few years on the family farm in Bremen Township before the family moved to Finlayson. He graduated from Finlayson High School in 1966 and enrolled in the Auto Mechanics program at Pine City Area Vocational-Technical School.

In high school, Jim was on the basketball team and took part in school plays. During his teenage years, he worked for Otto Hendrickson in Otto’s service station in Finlayson. After graduating from Pine City Vo-Tech, he started his career at Ike Gillespie Motors in Pine City. He then went on to own and operate his service station west of Finlayson. He later worked for several area car dealerships and auto mechanics shops before working in hardware stores in Finlayson and Pine City. He retired from his job as a security guard at Grand Casino Hinckley on Dec. 31, 2013.

Jim had a passion for fishing and could often be found in his little boat on area lakes, usually with Mom. He also liked to play cards with Mom late into the evening, keeping the rest of the household awake. He enjoyed taking unsuspecting passengers on rides on his 4-wheeler, which usually involved mud and close calls with trees.

Jim is preceded in death by his parents, George and Alice, paternal and maternal grandparents, aunts and uncles. Jim is survived by his sisters, Sue Breska of Finlayson and Patty (Mark) Jeffers of Barnum, niece Teresa (Jesse) Cockburn of Duluth, special friend Joyce Harapat of Pine City, and faithful canine companion, Livvie, as well as many relatives and friends. At Jim’s request, there will be no funeral; but a Celebration of Life at the Finlayson-Giese Lion’s Club in Finlayson will be held on Saturday, Jan. 25 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials to the American Cancer Society and the Tri-County Humane Society, St. Cloud, Minnesota.

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