James Olaf Halvorson

james halvorson

June 3, 1943 ~ September 11, 2020

Born in: Urbana, IL
Resided in: Pueblo, CO

James Olaf Halvorson (June 3, 1943-September 11, 2020) completed his life as a scholar, compassionate humanitarian, and lover of fish, boats, the water and nature. His sense of humor reverberates. He was husband to Barbara Morse Van Cleave Halvorson for 53 years; father to Andrew Van Cleave Halvorson (Laura Ann) and Sophia Seagrove Halvorson; grandfather to Serena Sophia Halvorson, Penny Ann Trujillo, and James Andrew Halvorson; brother to Karen Elisabeth Halvorson Peoples (Nick); uncle to Chris (Linda) and Nicole Peoples; brother-in-law to Nick Peoples, Jim Van Cleave a.k.a. Prakash, and to Richard Van Cleave(Patti). Jim’s parents were Cora Maude Robbins Halvorson and Henry George Homer Halvorson. Jim graduated from The University of The Americas, Mexico D.F., Mexico, in 1965 and continued his anthropology with an advanced degree and NDEA fellowships from The University of New Mexico. Fieldwork in Highland Ecuador in a community of three-thousand subsistence-level potato farmers enriched the cultural knowledge of his wife Barbara and his career of teaching anthropology at what is now CSU-Pueblo. He became an ace grant proposal writer for low-income students in an extensive Southern Colorado area for Educational Opportunity Center Services. His help to establish a child-care center at The University allowed parents to thrive with its flexible hours. Upward Bound students could succeed through the Trio Program. He traveled extensively and studied languages to become aware of the point-of-view of those from many walks of life. Indigenous, dog lovers, children in a Parks and Recreation program, his own free-spirited dog Fred, politicians who participated in team-building, and parents benefitted from his open-mindedness. His reward that many have been inspired by his encouragement toward higher education will surely be seen in his grandchildren. In lieu of food or flowers, please contribute to a scholarship. Video clips, photos, and stories sent to twig72@comcast.net would be greatly appreciated for a future celebration of life. Online condolences, www.MontgomerySteward.com

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Memories Timeline


  1. Bob and Sally Keller
    Pueblo West, CO

    Enjoyed Jim as a colleague in the old days at SCSC. We had lots of laughs. Learned a lot about Mexico from him and exchanged some good tales about lots of things. He was a very kind and gentle person-interesting as they get!

  2. Deep condolences to you and yours, Barbara, take your strength from your grandchildren and yout memories of Jim’s love and kindness. I posted this sad news for your many friends on the website. Take some times for yor grief.
    Your grief wil soften with Time. But memories of jim’s kindness never will.

    Your friend, Cousin Bill

  3. Barb,
    We were shocked and saddened to learn of Jim’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May God bless you and keep you at peace through the days to come.

  4. From my daughter Serena age 8:
    My Pappy was my Hero. I loved him a lot because he was a great soul. I liked doing computer stuff, watching movies, collecting rocks and going to the library with him. What I enjoyed the most was making chocolate chip cookies for him because he loved to eat them so much. He also really liked popcorn and rootbeer.
    My Pappy never missed any of my performances or birthday parties including the ones we had for my pets.
    We always had a great time together. We had a lot of fun playing board games, going to the park for picnics/the playground and goofing around at the Mall.
    He loved me very much and I loved him very much. I miss him, he was my everything….
    Thank you Pappy for all the books you read to me and gave me. They are very special and precious to me and so are you.
    Thank you for all your goodness, the things you gave me and have done for me.
    I will always love you.
    Much love

  5. My Father was the love and light of my life. He was the absolute best teacher, mentor, guide and friend. I was very fortunate to have been raised by such a caring and nurturing Man.
    This is an extremely difficult time and my words may not come out right but I find comfort in the memories that have been flooding me.
    My Father was a family man who spent his free time taking his children on adventures in Nature either rafting the Arkansas river or riding bikes along the nature trail. I particularly enjoyed the full moon canoe trips at the Pueblo Reservoir. We spent many years walking the trails he made with his machete along the fountain creek discussing life, the wilderness and simply just enjoying each other’s company.
    He spoke of many great and inspiring people whom he had worked with over the years with a twinkle in his eye and a proud smile. My Father truly loved Pueblo and was extremely happy to make it his home, establish a career and raise a family. He loved the people, the community, the food, and especially the roasted green chile.
    Thank you to all who made his life and time here in Pueblo so complete and wonderful.

  6. Barbie and Family,
    I was deeply sadden at the passing of Jim. He not only was such a wonderful, intelligent and funny man, he was a great boss. I learn how to do my job by his example and kindness to others. He always lead by how he will like to be treated. He will surely be missed as “the grant writer” everyone turned to. My thoughts and prayers go out to you, Andy, Sophia and grandkids, as well as other family members and friends. I will truly miss this kind human being. Sincerely, Cynthia Perez (former director of Student Support Services)

  7. Jim’s intelligence, kindness and love for his family contributed to making him the remarkable that he was. He was a joy to know and will be missed. We are thinking of you Barbie and Family.

  8. Jim’s intelligence, kindness and love for his family contributed to making him the remarkable that he was. He was a joy to know and will be missed.

  9. Barbie,
    We were sad to read about Jim’s passing. He was a great guy, I always enjoyed his company and his insights. I tried calling your phone, but it just rang and rang. I couldn’t have made the RUNYON or PIKE films without both of your help. Our thoughts are with you. I still smile when I remember how he researched ancient Grand Pawnee phrases and then made cassette tapes so our actors could learn their lines and sound authentic. Those were busy, but good days. John & Nadine Johnson

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