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Hughes Shoes owner Boxrud dies

A staple in Red Wing's downtown business community for many years, Jim Boxrud, 68, died Monday after a brief bout with cancer.

Boxrud was perhaps best known around town as the longtime owner of Hughes Shoes. After working at the store for a number of years, Boxrud and fellow worker Rodney Hauschildt teamed up to buy the store as business partners.

They worked as a duo for 30 years before selling the business to John Wanshura in 2008.

As the pair's longevity suggests, Hauschildt said he and Boxrud complemented each other well.

"We sort of shared duties. One did one part, the other did the other. It worked out well," Hauschildt said. "We respected each other. We drew upon each other to make sure things were done right."

A native of Goodhue, Boxrud went into the Navy after high school in 1959 and was honorably discharged in 1962. He returned home to work for the Red Wing Shoe Co. -- where incidentally he met Hauschildt.

In 1965, Boxrud married Judy Hadler. The couple had three children.

While co-running Hughes Shoes, Boxrud garnered respect from his peers in the local business community.

"He had a great energy about him," said Arne Skyberg, former Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce president. "He was a positive character."

Longtime acquaintance Norm Samson felt similarly.

"He was a real straight-shooter," Samson said.

Boxrud's illness came on quickly, friends said. Even though he knew of Boxrud's recent diagnosis, Samson said Boxrud's death came as a shock.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Red Wing with the Rev. Kristen Schlauderaff officiating.

Visitation will run from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Mahn Family Funeral Home, Bodelson-Mahn Chapel and also for one hour prior to the service on Friday at the church. Private burial will be at Oakwood Cemetery.