Nov. 28, 1945 — June 19, 2016
James Wilson, 70, of Oconomowoc, passed away in his sleep at home on Sunday, June 19, 2016, from ALS. A celebration of life service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 25, at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 210 E. Pleasant Ave, Oconomowoc.
Burial will follow at La Belle Cemetery, 700 E. Grove St. in Oconomowoc.
Friends may call from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. Saturday at the church. Memorials may be made to the ALS Association, Wisconsin Chapter.
A special thank-you to the neurology doctors and staff at Froedtert Hospital Medical Center, and Heartland Hospice for their loving care and support. Also thank you to Pagenkopf Funeral Home for all of the arrangements.
James was born Nov. 28, 1945, in Madison to James L. and Jean Ruth (Knoebber) Wilson. He attended schools in Baraboo and Memphis.
After high school Jim worked as a physical therapy assistant at Madison General Hospital where he met his future wife, Karen Sue Kalfsbeck. They were married on March 11, 1965, in Memphis, Tenn. They recently celebrated 50 years together.
During the 1960s, Jim was employed as an inside salesman at Graybar Electric Supply in Madison. In the 1970s he became a manufacturer’s lighting rep for Art Erickson Lighting and was one of the leading salesmen in his region. He enjoyed his work immensely and developed many friends in the wholesale lighting business. In the late ’70s he became sales manager at Lappin Electric in Milwaukee and later was promoted to vice president of sales, where he remained until his retirement. He was an avid golfer and enjoyed sports, playing baseball and basketball on the weekends in his younger years. He spent most of his weekends at his cottage “up north” with his family, where he could be found angling the lake in his bass buggy for the ever elusive muskie the family had affectionately named “Walter.”
James is survived by his wife, Karen; one son, David Jon Wilson, and his wife, Cyndee of Appleton; and one daughter, Leslie Jean Wilson, and her special friend Todd Ryback of Pleasant Prairie; two step-grandchildren, one step-great-grandchild; his sister, Judy Bennett, and her husband, David, of Memphis; his brother Michael L. Wilson, and his wife, Brenda, of Havelock, N.C.; his brother Robert L. Wilson of Irvine, Calif.; his brother David A. Wilson of Memphis; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Jean; and his son Michael James Wilson in 1997.
A funeral service for James will be held on Saturday, June 25, at St. Paul’s Lutheran, 210 E. Pleasant St., Oconomowoc, at 11 a.m. with a visitation for family and friends starting at 9 a.m. with burial to follow at LaBelle Cemetery.
Pagenkopf Funeral Home, 1165 E. Summit Ave., Oconomowoc, WI 53066, is serving the family. For more information, call 262-5674457 or visit www.pagenkopf.com.