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Jim Marking - Brookings: April 26, 1927 – Jan. 19, 2013

Posted: Monday, Jan 21st, 2013

Jim Marking, 85, died Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, at the Brookings Hospital.

Funeral services are at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, at St. Thomas More Catholic Parish in Brookings. Burial is in Greenwood Cemetery. Visitation is from 4-7 p.m. Wednesday at Eidsness Funeral Home in Brookings, with a wake service at 7 p.m.

Jim Marking was born April 26, 1927, in Parkston. He attended Sacred Heart Catholic Grade School and graduated from Parkston High School in 1945.

He enlisted in the Navy and was discharged in August of 1946 and then enrolled at South Dakota State College where he earned bachelor’s and master’ degrees in physical education.

While attending South Dakota State College, Jim renewed his friendship with a high school friend Carola Koehn. Jim and Carola were married Aug. 22, 1952. They enjoyed a wonderful lifetime of 59 years together.

During college, Jim coached basketball at Bruce High School and after graduation coached at Hayti (117-13), where he won the Boy’s State B High School Championship in 1954 and runner up twice.

Jim then moved on to Watertown (78-35) where he won the Boy’s State A High School Championship in 1959 and runner up twice. Jim then finished his coaching career at South Dakota State from 1960-1974. When he was an assistant coach under Jim Iverson, the Jackrabbits won the NCAA Division II National Championship in 1963. As head coach at SDSU, he had four North Central Conference championships, (1968-1969-1970-1973) and five NCAA post season appearances.

In 24 years as a prep and college basketball coach, he won 73.8 percent of the time. He retired as the winningest coach in SDSU men's basketball history (148-80).

His high school teams had eight state tourney appearances and reached the finals six times, winning two state championships.

After leaving SDSU, Jim was employed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Dakota, retiring in 1987.

Jim had a much celebrated coaching career and he impacted the lives of many as “Coach.” His honors include: the only coach to win a State “B” Championship (Hayti) and State “A” Championship (Watertown), South Dakota Hall of Fame, South Dakota High School Coaches Hall of Fame, Distinguished Alumnus Award at SDSU, Watertown High School Hall of Fame, South Dakota Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame, South Dakota State University Hall of Fame, South Dakota Press Association Distinguished Athletic Award, North Central Conference Hall of Fame, South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame, South Dakota College Coach of the Year in 1970, and Gov. Richard Kneip issued executive proclamation of “Jim Marking Day” on Dec. 21, 1974.

Jim was an active member in the following organizations: The Elks, American Legion, ABC Bridge Association, Knights of Columbus and St. Thomas More Catholic Church. His hobbies included playing cards, being a diehard Chicago Cubs baseball fan, and hunting and fishing. He enjoyed coaching numerous athletic teams for his sons, and working with many young athletes.

Survivors include his sister, Theresa (Don) Maxwell of Mountain View, Calif.; five children, Nancy Johnson of Sioux Falls, Tom (Cindy) Marking of Porterfield, Wis., Dan (Susan) Marking of Grand Rapids, Minn., Robert Marking of Brookings, Pam (Marvin) Rathlisberger of Crystal, Minn; eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

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