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James (Ace) Oestreich

March 17, 2021 | 6 comments

James (Ace) Oestreich, 73 slipped away peacefully at Gundersen Health System on Monday March 15th after courageously battling leukemia since September 2020. He was born to his beloved parents Violet and Harry Oestreich on March 18th, 1947. He credits them for providing an ideal childhood for him and his sister Linda, enjoying life by the willows in Prairie Du Chien.

Jim was married to Chris Hagel (Anderson) and later divorced. He later married the love of his life; Judy (Hinsberger) and they shared a beautiful 35 years together. Friends who enjoyed the company of Jim and Judy fondly referred to them as “two peas in a pod”. He is survived by his wife Judy, son Troy (married to Rachel) of Eau Claire, WI, daughter Amy, (married to Chris Guilbert) of Lac La Belle, MI, Stepson David (married to Janine) Hutchison of La Crosse, WI, Sean Hutchison (married to Karlyann) of Neenah, WI, and Jaime Hutchison

(married to Kristin) of Nashville TN. grandchildren Tyler and Avrey Oestreich of Eau Claire, WI, Christa and Kaitlyn Hutchison of La Crosse, WI, Elijah Hutchison of Neenah, WI, Alex (Amadeo) Ramirez and great grandson Sean Ramirez of Fond Du Lac, WI, Sister Lynda (married to Steve Welter) of Prairie Du Chien, WI, Niece Becky (married to Jon Nommensen) of Onalaska, WI, Nephews Gus Welter (married to Kathy) of Appleton, Erich Welter (married to Meghan) of Prairie Du Chien, WI and numerous great nieces and nephews.

Jim attended Prairie Du Chien High School where he participated in Football, Basketball, and Track. He attended numerous state track meets. Participating in sports is how he earned the nickname Ace in order to help people pronounce his last name. In high school, Jim met his lifelong fishing buddy Harold Hudson.

Coaching his son Troy and Daughter Amy in sports led to strong bonds and special time together. Later there were Hockey, Baseball, Football and Soccer matches to attend for Tyler and Avrey; Dance recitals, plays, and music concerts for Christa and Kaitlyn and Alex and Elijah spent Monday with Grampa when they lived nearby.

Jim attended Western Technical College in the mechanics program. After graduation he was offered a diesel mechanics apprenticeship at Gateway Transportation. Jim eventually was employed as a mechanic for the City of La Crosse, became an assistant supervisor at the Municipal Service Center and eventually became supervisor. He enjoyed working with his mechanics, making sure the equipment was ready to keep the roads of the city of La Crosse safe and ready for travel, along with keeping the shop organized. Jim was always ready to stand up and protect his mechanics.

Jim lived in his wonderful 31st street neighborhood for 33 years, where neighbors are not only neighbors but friends, with many a story to tell.

He and his wife Judy were fortunate to own 30 aces in beautiful Jersey Valley. Time there was shared with family and friends. Hunting land gradually made way to forest management due to involvement with the Kickapoo Woods Coop. Much knowledge was gained, and numerous friendships made during 20 years of land ownership. He was granted the title of “Mighty Buckthorn Warrior”. In retirement he also volunteered at the Moose Lodge, and most recently with Friend of the Marsh. Dance lessons at the Moose Lodge led to important friendships and many occasions for dancing. Waltzing at Larryfest, Pig Town Fling events, and house band concerts made for precious memories.

Jim’s family would like to thank the Gundersen Health System for excellent care from the time of his diagnosis, hospitalizations, and the excellent palliative care he received. Jim was always treated as Jim and not a just patient. They showed great respect, care and comfort. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate memorials to the Gundersen Medical Foundation specifically directed to Hematology or Palliative Care.

Many folks have enjoyed his smile and humor.

Until we can see that beautiful smile again you are forever loved, Jim.

There will be a simple ceremony for family and close friends. To attend the ceremony via livestream, please click here. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.






  1. amy oestreich

    Happy birthday Dad! You will always be remembered with love and smiles!

    • Kay

      He sounds like such a good soul and a loving person. Thanks for sharing a little of him with us. i would like to have met hi.. I’m so sorry for your lose. Hugs.

  2. Jean (White) Osteraas

    I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of Jim. He was a classmate who I knew probably since kindergarten. The last time I saw him was at our 50th class reunion in Prairie du Chien. He was a fun guy and so well liked. Condolences to his wife and family.

  3. Steve & Vicki Stromberg

    Judy and Kids,
    We were so very sorry to hear of your loss. Jim was a great man and friend. Will always remember our times together. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Sending our deepest sympathy to you all.

  4. doug skrade

    remember Jim & the time in PDC….He was backyard neighbor with Jeff Skrade.
    living with all the people living around Beaumont Rd. …Harold Hudson & I were the shortest in our class at one point. My husband, Doug Skrade remembers Jim as the only decient basketball player in my class!! I didn’t see Jim at the 50th reunion…sad to say. Knowing Christ is the most important part of ones life.

  5. Fred & Mary Craig

    Judy and family – We always enjoyed getting together with you and Jim. He always had a smile and a good story about something. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you experience your loss.


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