James W. Ylvisaker, 73, of New Canaan, Conn., died peacefully Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011, at Methodist Hospital in Rochester, Minn., where he was being treated for cancer. Memorial services are 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, at First Lutheran Church in Decorah, with Rev. Marion Pruitt-Jefferson and Rev. Don Hommen officiating. Private family burial is that morning in Lutheran Cemetery in Decorah. Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at www.fjelstul.com

James William Ylvisaker was born in Minneapolis, Minn., Feb. 26, 1938, the son of J.W. and Lucille (Torgerson) Ylvisaker. He grew up in Minneapolis and Decorah, where he graduated from Decorah High School in 1956 and Luther College in 1960.

After serving in the U.S. Army, James was employed in the actuarial department of North American Life and Casualty Insurance. He was a member of the Society of Actuaries and also was employed by IDS Insurance in Minneapolis and Cologne Reinsurance in Stamford, Conn., where he was senior vice president. James served on the Luther College Board of Regents from 1990-2003.

James is survived by his life partner, Grace Eide; his sister, Martha (Jim) Limburg of Longville, Minn.; niece, Kristi (Dan) Berkland of Arlington, Va. and nephews David (Laura) Limburg of Greensboro, N.C., Mark Limburg of St. Paul, Minn. and Paul (Cora) Limburg of Rochester, Minn.; and five great-nieces and -nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. J.W. (in 1981) and Lucille (in 1988) Ylvisaker.

Memorials are suggested to Luther College for the J.W. and Lucille Ylvisaker scholarship fund.