James A. Kurpius (Jim), passed away peacefully on March 15, 2022 at the age of 83 in Los Altos, California with his beloved wife and two sons by his side. jim was born
in Staples, Minnesota on July 20, 1938 to Julius and Tracy Kurpius. Many of Jim’s fondest memories are of his childhood on the farm where he grew up. This love of agriculture remained for the duration of his life. In ninth grade while attending Staples High School, Jim contracted polio and became a paraplegic. He used a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Jim’s courage, determination and perseverance have continually defined his life. He graduated from high school in 1956, attended the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota where he earned a degree in accounting and the University of Minnesota where he earned an MBA.
After graduating, Jim worked as finance manager at the St. Louis Park Med Center where he met his wife, Susan (Sue), who was a nurse. Jim and Sue, with new baby Jim, were ready for an adventure, especially one that didn’t include Midwestern winters, and moved to Palo Alto, California in 1969. Jim and Sue were lucky to have two wonderful sons, Jim and Justin.
Upon arriving in California, Jim worked in hospital administration, becoming chief financial officer of Stanford Children’s Hospital. In 1982 Jim was recruited by the law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati as Executive Director and retired as Vice President of Operations in 2002. One of the highlights of Jim’s work has been was the development of several WSG&R offices in Palo Alto, including 650 Page Mill Road. .
After retirement Jim’s passion was family, gardening and Stanford Sports. Most of the time, Jim could be found in his garden working the land as he did as a child plowing the fields of his family farm. He often said that his happiest days were plowing these fields and smelling the smell of the earth.
Although in a wheelchair his entire adult life, Jim remained independent, pursued a very demanding career and achieved his goals. He had an adventurous spirit and was devoted to his family and his community. He taught his kids how to camp and fish, coached youth sports, mentored underserved children, competed in Bay to Breakers, rafted, sit-skied, sea kayaked, and more. Jim relished long, family, solo trips across the West and Midwest, including Baja California, Mexico, and Minnesota. Jim’s international travels also included Europe, El Salvador, Mongolia and the Great Wall of China.
Jim is survived by his wife Sue, sons: James (Meredith) and Justin (Amy); his beloved grandchildren: Nolan, Peregrine, Addison and Brady; Brother DeWayne Kurpius (Buzz), Sister Connie Roberts (John), Brother Tomas Kurpius (Sharon), Sister Theresa Poklop and Brother Dennis Kurpius (Annita). Jim was predeceased by his sister Irene Lindvall.