James Thomas Morris Prest, known as Jim to his friends and family, passed away, surrounded by loved ones, on January 13, 2023. He was 93 years old. He was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1929 to George Prest and Jane Wilder Prest. Jim graduated from Shattuck Military School where he won the "pluggers prize," and in 1952, he graduated from Amherst College. After college, he worked for the OSS in Washington D.C., but was soon drafted into the army. However, the army sent him back to D.C. to continue his work as a "code breaker.”
He was interested in law, as he greatly admired his grandfather, Samuel Wilder, who was an attorney and VP of Labor Relations for the Union Pacific Railroad in the 1920s. He started law school at George Washington University, but part way through his time there, Jim returned to St. Paul to help his father run the family business. He continued his law studies part-time at the University of Minnesota Law School and graduated from William Mitchell (known at the time as the St Paul College of Law) in 1958. Over his 45 years of practicing law, what he enjoyed most was helping people solve problems and the lasting relationships he made.
In 1960, he married Libby Cuningham, and they settled in Duluth. They bought their first and forever home, The Ronald Hunter House, in Hunters Park. In 1973, he added a tennis court in their backyard, where anyone from the community could walk on and play. The tennis court became a cherished community spot for family and friends. Jim was an avid reader of novels and poetry, his favorite being Disobedience, by A.A. Milne. He loved alpine skiing, tennis, canoeing, and caring for their home in Hunters Park. He and Libby were active members of the Red Flannels and The Old Fashions dance groups. He was passionate about dogs, especially his many beloved German Shepherds.
He also served as the President of the Salvation Army Board of Directors of Duluth and was on the vestry of First United Methodist Church.
He is survived by his wife, Libby, with whom he celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary in October and his sister Stephanie Smith. Jim and Libby raised two children, Will and Elizabeth (Lisbee) who live in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Beverly, Massachusetts. Jim is also survived by four grandchildren: Charlie and Mason of Minneapolis and Caroline and Stephanie, of Beverly.
There will a memorial service at Lakeview Covenant Church, 1001 Jean Duluth Road on Saturday January 21, 2023. The visitation will be held at 1:00 pm and the service will held at 2 pm. For those that cannot attend the service can be viewed online at: lakeviewconvenant.online.church. Please visit www.dfhduluth.com to sign the online guestbook. Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home, 600 E 2nd St., Duluth MN, 218-727-3555.
Donations can be made to The Salvation Army of Duluth https://centralusa.salvationarmy.org/northern/duluth/