March 10, 1955 – March 9, 2023
The visitation for James D. Feneis, age 67, of St. Cloud, will be held at Jim’s home, Idle Ridge, on Saturday, April 22, 2023, from 1-6 PM with a prayer service at 4:30 PM. Jim passed away at the St. Cloud Hospital on March 9, 2023, one day before his 68th birthday, due to heart complications.
James (Jim, Jimmy) Denis Feneis was born on March 10, 1955, in St. Cloud to Denis and Mary Lou (Braun) Feneis. After his birth, he was diagnosed with situs inversus totalis, a rare congenital condition where his internal organs were flipped. His mother also had this condition. Jim attended St. Anthony’s grade school after attending public kindergarten. Jim’s lack of enthusiasm for school began at an early age. The story goes that his mother had to pull him off the telephone pole in the front yard to get him on the school bus on his first day. He graduated from Tech High School in 1973 and continued to have St. Anthony’s class reunions at Idle Ridge until his passing.
Jim was an entrepreneur at heart. He bought and sold cars in his teens and worked at East Side Oil Companies, the company his father founded on November 22, 1963. Denis (Jim’s father), Jim, and his brother, Dan, started First Fuel Bank on April 6, 1982. Jim worked very hard to grow the family business in St. Cloud. When Jim’s health issues began, he had to step back from his position at First Fuel Bank. During this time, Jim kept himself busy by buying and renting properties. He had recently bought a tool and die company, Integrity Engineering and Manufacturing, to occupy his busy mind. Jim loved history, especially local history. He established a foundation that will preserve local history, automobiles, motorcycles, and more for many generations to come. He dealt with a lot of adversity and health issues, always persevering with a smile on his face, which he followed with a smart remark. He had a nickname for everyone, and we mean everyone. If he didn’t have a nickname for you, he had a certain intonation he used to say your name. Jimmy lived life on his own terms.
Jim is survived by his brother and sisters, Patty (Tom) Murn, Dan Feneis, and Lucy Feneis; nieces and nephews, Brian (Aly) Murn, Sarah Murn, Nick Feneis, Neil Feneis, Ella Feneis Halverson, and Jack Feneis Halverson; and great-nieces Clara and Ella Murn. Jim is also survived by many dear friends and family. He was preceded in death by his parents, paternal grandparents Aloys and Catherine (Brunner) Feneis, maternal grandparents Steve and Alvina (Wenck) Braun, and sister-in-law Yvonne Feneis.
Schedule and Information
In lieu of flowers, memorials to the James D. Feneis Charitable Trust are preferred.
Visitation and Service Details
The visitation will be held at Jim’s home, Idle Ridge, on Saturday, April 22, 2023, from 1-6 PM with a prayer service at 4:30 PM.
Visitation and Service Location
Idle Ridge (Jim’s Home)
920 10th Street NE, Sauk Rapids, MN 56379
Your positive attitude towards life will truly be missed
Jim you maybe gone but you ll never be forgotten. You memory holds a special place in my life and heart. Whenever I ran into you it was ALWAYS a Kimmy, a big smile, a hug and a kiss!! I cherish your memories!! Until we meet again, ride in peace!
Jimmy Feneis was my 1st cousin. He was always full of ideas. Jimmy worked at his fathers gas station, East Side Oil when he was growing up. He learned a great deal watching his father wheel and deal. My uncle Dennis was full of ideas too. Dennis added home heating oil to the gas station business for an additional revenue stream. Jimmy put the work in behind his ideas, took them to the next level and made them profitable. Jimmy started First Fuel Bank of St. Cloud. This concept allowed gas customers to buy a gas card at a set amount of money, at the current gasoline price and either use it then or keep it for later. I believe there were 5 East Side Oil locations throughout Minnesota. East Side Oil became known as the best place to get a good deal buying gas. Later, Jimmy started collecting used oil and reselling it. Jimmy provided locations where customers could come in and drop off their used oil instead of pouring it in a gopher hole! Not only was this environmentally a good idea, it was extremely lucrative. Whenever I came to St. Cloud to visit my hometown, I always scheduled time to meet with Jimmy. He was one of the most interesting people I ever knew. Jimmy was a kindred spirit. With boundless energy, Jimmy tackled any situation. Jimmy had a big, generous heart. My daughter Rachael and my niece Jessica put together all the arrangements for my mother’s 90th birthday party. When there was a last minute problem with the location, with no hesitation, Jimmy agreed to host the party at his house. Jimmy’s house was a 15,000 sq’ house on top of the hill overlooking Hwy 10, in Sauk Rapids, which Jimmy referred to as “Idle Ridge”. Inside Jimmy’s house, he had a complete car wash and several collectible, vintage cars and gas / car related memorabilia Jimmy had collected over the years, a complete 50’s theme café, complete bar, & countless bathrooms. Walking through Jimmy’s house was like a tour of a great museum. It is only fitting that Jimmy started a foundation before he died, making his house an official museum. I will miss you Jimmy.
Rest easy Jim. I will always remember the time – during a miserable Minnesota winter that you heated up gas and poured it into the carburetor to get your car started.. it worked and you lived to tell us in Automotive’s class about it. Mr. Haugen the teacher was a bit shocked! You did whaaaaat!
Our deepest sympathy on Jim’s passing. What a great, self made man. I respected him and loved his collection of gas pumps and signs. I was honored to know him, have his support and will help carry on the values in life he held. We spoke just a few weeks ago. Rest in peace Jim.
Our deepest sympathy on Jim’s passing! What a great life of a self made man. I valued his common sense approach to life and valued his support. I also really appreciated his gas pumps and signs. I will carry on his practical beliefs and will remember him often. God’s peace to Jim and his friends and Family.
Rest in peace dear friend. I’ll miss the chats that we’ve had over the years. Now you can ride forever. The old neighborhood has lost another good guy. Thoughts and prayers to all of the family at this sad time. You will be missed.