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A Life Well Lived
James "Jim" Richard Jundt of Scottsdale, AZ, a devoted husband, father, grandfather, friend, reader, sports lover, astute investor, passionate art supporter, and beloved family man, passed away peacefully on December 1, 2023, at 81, after a brief illness. Survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Mary Joann, his three children, and twelve grandchildren, Jim leaves behind a legacy of a life well lived.
Tony and Rosemary Jundt raised Jim and his younger brother Ray in Yakima, Washington. Jim's intellectual curiosity and entrepreneurial spirit shone brightly from an early age. His dream of pursuing a career in finance after reading a book about Wall Street led him to Gonzaga University, where he earned a degree in economics in 1964. Armed with his degree and unwavering determination, Jim boldly ventured to Wall Street with his new wife, Joann, starting a great American adventure.
After arriving in New York, Jim tenaciously cold-called several Wall Street firms, convincing them for an interview, ultimately securing a position as an equity research analyst at Merrill Lynch in 1964, marking the inception of a distinguished career in the investment industry. His dedication, discipline, and ability to identify promising growth stocks earned him a reputation as a skilled analyst, leading him in 1969 to join IDS in Minneapolis as a portfolio manager. Jim was entrusted with managing a billion-dollar mutual fund at the remarkably young age of 28.
He quickly developed and refined his investment strategy while working with some of the best and brightest investment minds at the time. When the 1980s arrived, and the market broke its long slumber, recognizing the emerging trend of boutique asset management, Jim founded, along with Gary Capen, Jundt Capen Associates in 1983. Under his leadership, the firm thrived, attracting clients, assets, and accolades for its impressive track record.
Jim's investment philosophy was rooted in identifying fast-growing companies with the potential to disrupt competitors and revolutionize or create new industries. He was a master of finding the next "ten-bagger," and his keen eye for innovation, growth, and high-quality management teams was the recipe that propelled industry-leading returns.
In addition to his acumen for stock picking, Jim invested in numerous private companies and served on many corporate boards, including as co-owner of the Minnesota Vikings. Jim also became involved in Broadway, investing in many notable productions, including the Tony Award-winning show The Producers.
Jim along with his wife were committed to the arts, generously supporting institutions such as the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Minneapolis Orchestra, and the Guthrie Theater, and helped make possible the Jundt Art Museum at Gonzaga University, his alma mater.
Beyond his professional commitments, Jim was an avid supporter of Gonzaga University. He served as a trustee and board chairman, helping the university navigate challenging times. He also established the James R. Jundt Chair of Economics and endowed numerous scholarships, believing in the importance and power of a liberal arts education. Most importantly, Jim was a dedicated fan of Gonzaga “Zags” basketball, watching every game year in and year out and attending many games when possible.
Even Joann would acknowledge that Jim’s first love was baseball. Though he never played beyond high school, Jim never lost his passion for the game. He instilled a love of the game in his children, taking them out of school every April for the Twins’ opening day and experiencing the 1987 and 1991 World Series. While his dream of playing professional baseball was unfulfilled, Jim found immense joy as a spectator, coaching and watching his grandchildren play the game he loved.
Jim's passion for life and competition extended to his hobbies, including golf. A long-time member at Hazeltine National, he enthusiastically embraced the game, relishing the camaraderie, competition, and occasional hole-in-one. His unwavering determination and ability to rise to the occasion under pressure made him a formidable opponent on and off the course.
Jim was a bookworm in his free time, devouring history and biographies relentlessly. He loved to exercise and enjoyed going to the movies, with a fondness for all the great westerns. Jim traveled extensively worldwide, often with his beloved wife Joann by his side. Jim was a cowboy at heart, always up for a new challenge. He also cherished spending time with his family, whether it was enjoying summers out on Lake Minnetonka or retreating to the warmth of Arizona during the winter months.
At the core of Jim’s life was his enduring love for Joann, his high school sweetheart and partner for over 59 years. Together, they successfully navigated a great American adventure, raised three children, and nurtured a vibrant family that expanded to include twelve grandchildren. Jim took great pride in engaging with his grandchildren, often remarking on their talents and accomplishments.
Jim is survived by his brother, Ray Jundt, his loving wife of 59 years, Joann, his children, Marcus (Allyssa) Jundt, Romy (John) Erlandson, and Celeste (Mark) Argento; his eleven grandchildren, Katharine Jundt , Maxwell Jundt, Grace Lambright (Erlandson), Fred Erlandson, Henry Erlandson, Charlie Erlandson, George Erlandson, Antenella Argento, Nicholas Argento, Sophia Argento, Daniel Argento;, many nieces, nephews and extended family. He is preceded in death by his father, Tony, mother, Rosemary, and grandson, Alexander Jundt.
Jim's passing marks the end of an extraordinary life, but his spirit of hard work, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and family will forever live on in the hearts of those who knew and loved him, including his eleven grandchildren. He was a true gentleman, a pioneer in his field, a family man, and a good friend to many. May his memory be a lasting blessing to all fortunate enough to join him during his journey, a life well lived.
If you would like to support Jim’s love of Gonzaga University please consider making a donation to:
The James R. Jundt Chair of Economics at Gonzaga University.
Attn: University Advancement
502 E Boone Ave,
Spokane, WA 99258-0098
You may also make a gift online at:
Service will be held on Monday, December 18th, 2023 at 1:00 pm
Lakewood Cemetery Memorial Chapel
3600 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55408
Or online live streamed at: https://vimeo.com/event/3964579
Burial will follow immediately after service.
Please join us for a celebration of Jim’s life following the service from 4-6pm at
The Hotel Landing
925 Lake Street
Wayzata, Minnesota 55391