Jim was born in Danbury on February 10, 1939, to Tom and Betty (Fitzpatrick) Karhoff. He attended St. Patrick's Grade School and graduated from Danbury Catholic School in 1957. Upon graduation, he worked for Booth and Olsen and later Irving F. Jensen, both construction companies, until 1966, when he began working for Wilson Foods. He retired in 1993, due to ill health.
On November 14, 1959, he married Cec Forch at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Anthon, Iowa. To this union three children were born, Rhonda, Danny, and Patty.
Jim was a long time member of St. Joseph Catholic Church. He loved to go to the casino where he met and visited a lot of past co-workers.
Survivors include Cec, his wife of 52 years; daughters Rhonda (Duane) Reinholdt of Cherokee and Patty (Kenny) Kollbaum of Anthon; four grandchildren, Derek and Dalton Kollbaum and Andy and Jason Kerns; one step grandson, Seth Reinholdt; and four great grandchildren; one brother, Bill (Jean) Karhoff of Danbury; two sisters, Shirley Burmeister of Storm Lake, and Nadine Plautz of Danbury; four nieces; and two nephews.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Dan, in 1997; one sister, Jean Marie Pokorny; and two brothers-in-law.