James “Jim” Francis Sobkowiak
James Francis Sobkowiak
May 19, 1929 – March 23, 2019
James passed into the presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, at the age of 89, the sunny morning of Saturday, March 23, 2019, at his home, with his family by his side.
James was born to Lillian and Walter Sobkowiak on their farm at Stoddard, Wisconsin. He was the second oldest of 13 children. His older sister, Bernadine, passed away at the age of 5 months. Jim is survived by his wife, Irene, of 48 years and his children, Diana (Glenn) Gerlach, Lin Sobkowiak, Peggy (Jerry) Jorstad, David (Darcy) Sobkowiak, Mark (Kris) Sobkowiak, Suzan (Stephen) Harkness, Peter (Carol) Sobkowiak, Jim (Andrea) Curtis, Cindy (Charles) Wilson, 30 grandchildren, 45 great-grandchildren, and 14 great-great grandchidren. Jim is also survived by three sisters, Irene Hauser, Dorothy Pierce, and Anne (Bob) Manuel, and eight brothers, Aloysious (Mary), Robert, Charles, Daniel (Margie), Ronald (Sally) Bernard (Deb), Dennis (Linda) and Donald.
Jim was preceeded in death by his sister, Bernadine, his parents, Lillian and Walter, brothers-in-law, Gene Hauser and Tom Pierce and sisters in law Pat and Joyce Sobkowiak.
As a child, Jim lived the farm life with his parents and siblings. At the age of 12 he was cultivating the fields with a team of horses. At the age of 18, he went to work at the Pontiac garage as a mechanic.
On February 5, 1948, he married Doris Moe. Soon after they bought a farm in Gills Coulee. There he made a great friend on the next farm, Earl Powell.
In 1954, Jim and Doris purchased a 160 acre dairy farm on Hamburg Ridge, above Stoddard and Chaseburg, Wisconsin where they raised their seven children. A year later, Earl Powell and his family moved to an adjacent farm on Hamburg Ridge. Jim and Earl remained fast friends until Earl’s death in 2009.
Jim and Doris divorced in 1969 and he married Irene Curtis on June 12, 1971. Irene has two children who joined the siblings, making nine children who had many enjoyable adventures on the farm. Jim received many awards as an Outstanding Farmer and Resource Conservationist.
Jim retired from farming in 1990 and moved to LaCrosse, Wisconsin.
After he retired he and his brother in law, Bob, had a mowing and yard care business called Two Men Mowing (Reliable Bob and Reasonable Jim). He also spent many years shuttling vehicles between car dealerships in the surrounding area.
In retirement, Jim enjoyed playing euchre, making jerky and sausage, canning, baking and cooking. He was also a great maker of soups.
Traditions that Jim enjoyed were meeting with his siblings and their families at his folk’s home on Sunday evenings for a potluck family dinner together. He also met with his siblings and a few close friends, every Thursday morning at Jacqlon’s Restaurant in Holmen for breakfast.
Jim’s family would like to thank neighbors on both sides of his home, John Helfrich and John Maxwell for all the work they did for Jim and Irene, keeping their yard mowed and sidewalks shoveled and many other tasks. Also special thanks to Denise Stinson, the staff at the Dialysis center, Hospice, Dr. Momont and all medical personnel who cared for Jim throughout the years.
A funeral mass will be held on Thursday, March 28, at 11:00 a.m. at St. James Catholic Church, 1032 Caledonia Street, LaCrosse. A lunch will follow at the American Legion, Post 336, 731 Sand Lake Road, Onalaska, Wisconsin. Visitation will be held on Wednesday from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at the Coulee Region Cremation Group, 133 Mason St., Onalaska