James J. Karius
Oct. 5, 1931 ó Jan. 20, 2017
James J. Karius of Waukesha passed away peacefully surrounded by the love of his family at home on Friday, January 20, 2017, at the age of 85. He was born in Milwaukee October 5, 1931, the son of James and Louise (nee Ament) Karius.
He was a 1949 graduate of Pius High School. On October 13, 1956, he married Donna Zelhofer at Christ King Church in Wauwatosa, recently celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. Jim worked for Wisconsin Electric for more than 40 years, starting as a lineman and retiring as a meter tester in 1995.
In his retirement, Jim, along with Donna, was a founding member of Learning in Retirement (LIR) at WCTC. Jim started as curriculum chairman in 1996, planning class schedules and recruiting coordinators. He then served as LIR president from 1997 to 1999 as the program grew increasing from the original 150 members to nearly 500. When the original LIR Bridge teacher did not work out, Jim, again with Donna as his partner, decided to concentrate on bridge and started teaching bridge at LIR and later at many other venues to hundreds of mature students. From there, they went to Waukesha Park & Recreation and began a 20-year stint volunteering with Jim as director and Donna as club manager. In league with the American Contract Bridge Association (ACBL), they directed several games per week which included 40 or more people at each session. In addition to being an avid duplicate bridge player and bridge teacher, Jim was a lifelong learner and loved to read. He often read multiple books at once and enjoyed discussing and sharing what he learned with others. Most of all, though, Jim loved spending time with his family. Jim will be remembered for his guidance and coaching over the years, his love of spending time with grandkids and great-grandkids, his witty conversation, and his wonderful sense of humor.
He will be sadly missed by his wife of 60 years, Donna of Waukesha, and their children, Christine (Ken) Freund of South Milwaukee, Mary (Dennis) Kittel of Slinger, James (Jeanne) Karius of Summit, Robert (Kathleen) Karius of Summit, Barbara Loporchio of Waukesha and Amy (Kurt) Van Buskirk of Carmel, Ind. He was the proud grandfather of Michael, Stephen, Elizabeth, Rachel, David, Michelle, Stephanie, Alex, Eric, Anna, Michael, Nicholas, James, Joshua, and Gabrielle and great-grandfather of Zoey, Sam, Liv, Teddy, Brooke, Claire, Sophie and Charlie. He is further survived by his sister- in-law Diane Montz, along with many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his brother Joseph Karius and sister Louise Cleppe.
Visitation will be held on Friday, January 27, from 1 p.m. until the time of the 3 p.m. memorial service at the Randle-Dable-Brisk Funeral Home, 1110 S. Grand Ave., Waukesha.
Memorials in Jimís name are appreciated to the charity of the donorís choice.
Randle-Dable-Brisk Funeral Home is honored to serve the family. For further information, please call the funeral home at 262-547-4035 or visit our website at
www.randledable.com for directions or to leave the family an online tribute message.