James Wieland Stopfer was born December 24, 1929, at Ethan, SD, to Henry and Mary (Wieland) Stopfer. He grew up and attended school at Mitchell and graduated from Mitchell High School in 1949. He joined the US Army and served three years active duty. On May 29, 1952, he married Joan Radford in Mitchell. He served in the South Dakota National Guard for thirty-three years until his retirement. He was a member of Company A, First Battalion, 147th Field Artillery in Mitchell. He was employed at Randall Advertising and Flack Advertising. He served two terms with Mitchell City Council. He was a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church and a lifetime member of the American Legion.
He is survived by his wife, Joan; two daughters: Kim Tysdal and special friend, Dave of Rapid City, and Tammy Lorang and husband, Kim of Mount Vernon; three grandchildren; one great grandchild; and one sister, Ilene Bishop of Red Oak, IA. He was preceded in death by two brothers, nine sisters and his parents.