site image
phone local_florist
obituary header
Welcome to the memorial page for

James 'Jim' Pilgrim

July 25, 1952 ~ August 6, 2017 (age 65)
Memorial services for Jim Pilgrim will be held at 10:30AM Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at First Lutheran Church, Albert Lea. Reverend John Holt will officiate. Visitation will be held from 4PM until 7PM Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at Bonnerup Funeral Service, Albert Lea, and again one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in Graceland Cemetery, Albert Lea.

James ‘Jim’ Pilgrim passed away on August 6, 2017 at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota at the age of 65. James was born on July 25, 1952 to parents LeRoy and Hazel (Leeper) Pilgrim in Albert Lea, Minnesota. He had a very musical upbringing and co-wrote the high school musical Farewell Philbert! He graduated from Albert Lea High School in 1970 and attended Brown Institute for broadcasting in Minneapolis.

On October 5, 1974, Jim married Deborah Meyer at St. John’s Catholic Church in Wahpeton , North Dakota. Together, they made their home in Albert Lea.

Music was Jim’s life. In his younger years he played bass guitar in the band Ricky Redstreak & The Fireballs and taught himself to play many other instruments. While raising his daughter Addie, they would sing and record songs together. Jim loved all genres of music except rap and spent his career in radio broadcasting.

Jim started out working for KATE radio as a DJ and radio show host for many years. Through his work, he met several famous stars during over-the-phone interviews and collected their autographed photos. He befriended Lawrence Welk and fulfilled his wife’s lifelong dream by flying out to Los Angeles so she could dance with Lawrence on the show. For several years Jim was the CEO of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. He returned to broadcasting at Power 96 where he handled sales, news, and a weekly show with Jay Paul.

Throughout the years, the party was always in Jim and Debbie’s backyard, especially during Fourth of July celebrations. They hosted several movie nights with friends, watching old time movies using Jim’s projector. He had a large collection of Laurel & Hardy films and old radio plays. Jim was kind-hearted and enjoyed making people laugh and having a good time.

Jim is survived by his wife, Debbie Pilgrim of Albert Lea; daughter, Addie (Mike) Embrickson of Austin, MN; ten month old grandson and joy of his life, James Patrick Embrickson; sister, Merry (Bob) McDevitt of Georgia; brothers, Tom (Linda) Pilgrim of Texas and Dave Pilgrim of New Zealand; special brother and sister, Roger (Joni) Madson of Oklahoma and Patty (Eddie) Forbes of Hastings, MN; sisters and brothers in-law, Karon Meyer, Ron and Sharon Meyer, Merlin and Lori Meyer, and Chad Meyer all of Wahpeton, ND; 9 nieces; and 7 nephews.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents; mother and father in-law, Al and Nellie Meyer; and brothers in-law, Warren Meyer and Delwood Meyer.

 Service Information

A service summary is not available


© 2017 Bonnerup Funeral & Cremation Services. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS