James Frederick Loebel, 72


James (Jim) Frederick Loebel, 72, of West Bend, died surrounded by his family on Dec. 21, 2011 following a brief battle with lung cancer.

Jim was born April 25, 1939, in Berkeley, Calif., to Fred and Mary (nee Nehring) Loebel. The family moved to Milwaukee, where he attended primary school. He graduated from Rufus King High school in 1956, earning a National Merit Scholarship. Following graduation, he attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison sporadically until he joined the U.S. Navy in 1961, where he earned many letters of commendation during his role as a fire control technician aboard the U.S.S. Lynde McCormick. Following his honorable discharge, he returned to UW-Madison where he graduated in 1967 with a Bachelorís of Science in electrical engineering. Post-graduation he began a 21-year professional relationship with Square D Electrical.

In 1971, he made the fateful decision to accept a blind date with Ursula Theresa Cooper, and thus started almost 40 years of devoted love and marriage. Jim and Ursula were married Oct. 20, 1973 in Milwaukee. They settled to raise a family in Grafton for 12 years and moved to the West Bend area in 1985.

Jim was a lifelong active community member. He started by being an active member of the Milwaukee Jaycees, raising many funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, MACC fund, and Cystic Fibrosis research. He was a lifelong blood donor. He devoted countless hours to the life and education of young boys through the Boy Scouts of America, as a merit badge counselor in the areas of archery, woodcarving and leatherworking.

Jim is defined by his dedication to lifelong learning. His associations include the Professional Engineering Society, the Wisconsin Historical Society, the Jaycees, MENSA and the National Geographic Society. He was a certified scuba diver and loved diving in the Bahamas. He was also an active historical re-enactor, living out the life of the pioneer in rendezvous camps. In retirement, he studied anthropology at U W-Washington County. He was a fierce reader with a personal library of thousands of volumes.

His dedication to conservation and the outdoors was unwavering, and he logged hundreds of bird species in his hobby as a birdwatcher. His favorite place in the world was a beloved maple sugaring house, where he and many friends boiled syrup, drank and swapped stories under the light of glowing lanterns. He cherished the Alaskan moose hunt he took with his nephew Bill and his friend Eric. His children and grandchildren spent many hours fishing by his side next to a quiet stream or pond.

He is survived by his devoted and cherished wife Ursula, his sons Mark (Dave Doolen), and Eric Loebel; Daughters Catherine (Richard) Smith and Claire, and grandchildren Ian James, Evelyn, and Cordelia; his mother Mary, brothers Chris and Robin, and sisters Wendy, Jane and Nancy. He is further survived by many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

He is preceded in death by his father Frederick and granddaughters Ciara and Olivia.

Cremation and private family services will be held on Dec. 24, 2011.

A Memorial Service for all friends and family will be held Jan. 20, 2012 at 7 p.m. at the Phillip Funeral Home Chapel (1420 Paradise Drive). The visitation will be at the funeral home on Friday, Jan. 20 from 4 p.m. until the time of service at 7 p.m.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Budny and the medical staff at St. Maryís Ozaukee for their dedication to Jimís health.
Memorials can be made in Jimís honor to the American Cancer Society (Wisconsin Region, P.O.Box 902, Pewaukee, WI 53072-0902). An online fund has been established in Jimís name at cancer.org.

The Phillip Funeral Home of West Bend is assisting the family; 338-2050 or www.phillipfuneralhome.com.