Cover photo for James A. "Jim" Cody's Obituary
James A. "Jim" Cody Profile Photo
1942 James 2024

James A. "Jim" Cody

February 24, 1942 — March 20, 2024

Sioux City, IA

James Alden Cody (“Cody”), former Elk Point and Vermillion resident, died on March 20, 2024 at Charter North Park Senior Living in Sioux City, IA. 


Many know Jim from his years as the owner and chef of Cody’s Homestead restaurant in Elk Point, SD.   Diners will remember Jim not only for his amazing prime rib and mouth-watering homemade pies, but also for his quick wit and entertaining tales, quips and jokes.  With Jim as the official greeter and host for more than 40 years, Cody’s Homestead served as a community hub for family celebrations, afternoon bridge card games, a gathering point for local farmers, a place for local workers to grab a hearty lunch, a rest stop for hungry I-29 travelers, and always a place to catch a good story, joke or news update from Jim.


Jim was born in Sioux City, Iowa on February 24, 1942 to Harriet Alden Cody and John “Jack” Cody.   Jim attended Blessed Sacrament School and Heelan High School in Sioux City, IA.  Jim finished his high school years in Yankton, SD where he participated in sports and school musicals and was voted (not surprisingly) as the senior with the “Most Wit.”  Jim attended the University of South Dakota and graduated (just barely, as he tells it) with a degree in History.   While in Vermillion, he met his future wife, Dorothy “Dott” Teply of Elk Point.  Jim and Dott married and had 3 children together:   John, Elizabeth (Liz) and Michelle (Shelly).  Jim started his career with Osco Drug and the family lived in Brockton, Massachusetts and Grand Forks, North Dakota before returning to Elk Point to be closer to both Dott and Jim’s families.


Jim opened Cody’s Gateway Café in 1975.  After working hard and finding success in the restaurant business, Jim and Dott opened a new restaurant, Cody’s Homestead Restaurant, Cafe and Lounge in 1980.   Cody’s Homestead was a family business and for more than 40 years, Cody’s restaurant was a staple of the community and a gathering place for many occasions and celebrations.


In 1989, Jim married Judy (Anderson) Kluck of Vermillion and with the union gained five more step-children to love:  Jimmie,   Jacquie, Jennie, Jon and Julie. 


Jim enjoyed time with his kids and their spouses and grandkids that rounded out the family.   Jim lit up whenever he was around kids and he entertained and amazed young ones with his invisible ball and sack trick.  He delighted in their laughter and joy of the unknown!  Jim had a special connection with kids.  In fact, even up to the end, he was sharing his invisible ball trick with kids who were visiting family members at Charter Senior Living.  Jim enjoyed his role as a grandfather and shared “my joy now comes from watching or hearing of my grandchildren's experience of the very things that I can no longer do or want to do.  What a revelation for me, I get to relive my life through my children’s children.”


In addition to running the restaurant seven days a week, Jim decided to take a try at the craft of writing.  He found enjoyment in the power and playfulness of words and he succeeded at finishing a novel entitled “The Toll Booth.”  Jim was proud of his accomplishment and said he wished he had tried writing earlier in life.  It is no surprise that Jim had a talent for writing, considering his gift with words and storytelling.


Jim found companionship during his last five years with Charlene Ellis, a high school classmate he had reconnected with later in life.  Always a people person, Jim loved getting to know Char’s children and grandchildren and sharing his special gifts of cooking and storytelling with Char’s network of family and friends.


Jim will be missed by all.  After Jim’s passing, a loved one said, “there will be a big empty space in the universe now.”   We know Jim impacted many people in Elk Point, Vermillion, Yankton, Sioux City, and the surrounding community and most importantly, he left an imprint on each of his kids, teaching them to be kind, help others, work hard, give back, and live life large.


Jim was preceded in death by his mother, Harriet; father, Jack; brothers Mike and Tom; and his first wife, Dott.  Jim will be missed dearly by all who loved him, including his siblings Rita Marschall; Pat (Denise) Cody; Julie (Jerry) Wenner; and Nick Cody; his children John (Lori) Cody,  Liz (Ed) Williams, Michelle (Chuck) Ritter; stepchildren Jimmie (Scott) Putman, Jacquie (Brian) Stoltenburg, Jennie (Russell) Olson, Jon Kluck, Julie (A.J.) Friessen; grandchildren Joel (Hanah) Cody; Audra and Truly Williams; Alden and Beckett Ritter; Zachary, Matthew, Marcus Putman; Katelyn, Tessa, Colten and Tyler Stoltenburg; Ben, Anna, Victoria and Gordon Olson; Jack, Bella and Samuel Friessen; great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and these special people who were a part of his life:  Charlene Ellis, Nick (Beth) Burns, Chris Burns, and Andrew, Lauren, Austin, Jake, Colton, Mia, Addie, and Archie.


A Celebration of Life service will be held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Elk Point, SD on Thursday,  June 20, 2024 at 6:30 PM.  All are welcome to attend.  Jim’s passion was nourishing others, so in lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a local food bank or organization that provides meals for the homeless.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James A. "Jim" Cody, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Upcoming Services

Celebration of Life

Thursday, June 20, 2024

6:30 - 7:30 pm (Central time)

St. Joseph's Catholic Church

605 E. Main Street, Elk Point, SD 57025

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