A private service for James “Jim” Dassinger, 56, of Dickinson, will be held 2:00 p.m., Friday, March 11, 2022 at Stevenson Funeral Home.
The service will be livestreamed at stevensonfuneralhome.com. From the main page, click Jim’s photo and scroll below his obituary. It will be available 10 minutes prior to the service.
Heaven just got a bit happier with the arrival of James “Jim” Dassinger, who passed away March 2 of natural causes. He was 56.
Jimmy was born Aug. 12, 1965, in Dickinson to Conrad and Hedy Dassinger. He came into the world with Down syndrome, and in 1967 he was moved to the Grafton State School in Grafton, which became his home for many years. He returned to Dickinson in 1986 to live in a group home with the support of ABLE Inc. He attended Dickinson High School for a short time upon returning to his hometown. For several years he was able to have his own apartment, but when his caregivers found it difficult to keep him safe during construction from the last oil boom, he returned to Grafton in 2015. In 2016, he moved to Jamestown, where he was supported by Alpha Opportunities. He lived in Jamestown until the last week before his passing.
Jim was largely nonverbal, except for the affirmative “yep” and some choice swear words. He was much more adept at American sign language, and many will remember the picture book he carried to help him communicate. He added his own personal flare to his sign language. When he liked something, it was two big thumbs up and that huge smile. If he didn’t like something: thumbs down!
He loved Adam Sandler movies, coloring, organizing paper, puzzles, ’80s rock, country music, going to McDonald’s for pop, cartoons, car rides, westerns and “Bad Boys,” the theme from “Cops.” Funny and mischievous by nature, he would tease people and poke fun at them. He was a good friend with a compassionate heart. When his friend Susan was ill, he’d kiss her on the forehead and tweak her nose. His silliness and humor could light up a room. He had a curiosity for life and was always checking things out. He loved to tinker and figure out how things worked. He also enjoyed sitting on his back porch and watching traffic go by. Jim took great pride in his custodial work and could be a perfectionist.
To the many caregivers who aided Jim over the years: You are heroes, the best of people. There are too many to list, but Janelle Stoneking guided much of his time in Dickinson, as did Greg Wilkinson, who made Jim part of his family. As long as Jim could explore life, he was happy, and his caregivers helped him travel to California, Las Vegas, South Dakota and beyond. They made it possible for him to see Martina McBride and Garth Brooks in concert. Against the odds, they gave him the world.
As Janelle said, “Oh, he had such spirit!”
Jim was preceded in death by his father, Conrad Dassinger; paternal grandparents, Peter and Lena Dassinger; maternal grandparents, Joseph and Kathryn Klemm; and many aunts, uncles and friends. He is survived by his mother, Katherine “Hedy” Dassinger of Dickinson; brother Arnie (Kathleene) Dassinger of Scottsdale, Arizona; brother Herb Dassinger of Chandler, Texas; brother Dennis (Jeanine) Dassinger of Greenville, Michigan; sister Rhonda (Rod) Binstock of Dickinson; and sister Brenda (Cary) Shimek of Missoula, Montana; nephew Ryan Binstock of Edina, Minnesota; nephew Chad Binstock of Dickinson; niece Breanna Dassinger of Scottsdale; nephews Jordan, Caleb and Joshua Dassinger, all of Greenville; Connor Dassinger of Scottsdale; and nephews Mason and Marcus Shimek of Missoula, along with many aunts, uncles, cousins and, of course, dear friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family ask that donations be made to ABLE Inc. (https://www.ableinc.net), or Catholic Charities of ND (https://www.catholiccharitiesnd.org/) in Jim’s memory.
We understand if remembering Jim makes you want to give two big thumbs up. He will always hold a place in our hearts and will be greatly missed.
To view Jim's tribute video please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jJyj-_3LH8