James Arnt Aune

August 17, 1953-January 8, 2013

James Arnt Aune chose to leave the world on January 8, 2013, a very sad day indeed. The Aune family welcomes all friends to attend a memorial service planned for Sunday, January 27, at 4 p.m. at the Texas A&M Hillel located at 800 George Bush Dr., College Station, Texas 77840, which will be conducted by Rabbi Peter Tarlow.

He lived 59 years, having spent 26 of those years with his loving, devoted wife and dearest friend, Miriam Ruth Aune. Jim and Miriam have two sons, Nick 24, and Dan 21, both of who have autism. When autism moved in, any possibility of a normal life flew out. With humor, tears and perseverance, the Aune family stayed together against the odds.

Jim was a Minnesota boy, born and bred. He was born in Fergus Falls, only because his small hometown of Elbow Lake didn’t have a hospital. He was involved in speech competition and theatre throughout his years at Lincoln High in Thief River Falls, and graduated from a small private college that shall remain nameless because Jim was mad at them.

Jim received his doctoral degree in Speech Communication from Northwestern University. After he began his professorial career at Tulane and continued at The University of Virginia, he was a visiting professor for one summer term at the University of Iowa, where he and Miriam fell in love and were married December 20, 1986. After two very happy and productive years at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, he was invited to join the Speech Communication department at TAMU in 1996. Jim was a very productive and creative scholar as well as a completely dedicated instructor of undergraduate and graduate students alike. Many Aggie students and former students would declare that Jim was the best teacher they ever had; he would have returned the compliment.

Jim’s parents, Arnt and Adeline, preceded him in death in Minnesota. Though he missed their presence in his life, Jim came to Texas looking for a new home with an undivided heart.

Jim is survived by his love and life partner, Miriam; his sons, and his brothers Michael and John, their respective wives Caroline and Sandy; nephews, Peder, John Jr. and Tyler; and nieces, Beret, Stephanie and Emily.

It’s a small group, but a mighty one. The larger group Jim leaves behind is made up of the hundreds of friends, colleagues and students with whom he shared various parts of his journey. He will be deeply missed.

Jim would be very pleased if donations would be made to the Autism Society of America (www.autism-society.org) because of their assistance over the years, and to the Texas Gulf Coast Vizsla Rescue  http://www.vizslaclub.com/Library_club/Rescue/Rescue_main.html) because they provided his family with Buffy, Angel and Xander, three of the goofiest dogs on the planet who rounded out a family of “special” people.