James “Jim” William Arens
James “Jim” William Arens, 73, of La Crosse, Wisconsin, passed away as a result of congestive heart failure on November 27, 2019 at the UW Healthcare Center in Madison. Jim was born on September 22, 1946 to Odell “Buzz” and Eleanore Arens. Jim arrived in the world prematurely with his twin brother, Jerry, weighing only 2 pounds, 6 ounces but Jim was a fighter from the beginning. He overcame various health challenges and had an adventurous and idyllic childhood in Kellogg, Minnesota with eight beloved siblings. He graduated from St. Felix High School in 1964. He then entered the family business with his father and family at Arens Motor and Implement in Kellogg. Jim’s charismatic personality was a natural match for sales and thus a very successful lifelong career was born.
Through a mutual friend, Jim met the love of his life, Arian Adams, and they were married on May 29, 1971. The two were a perfect complimentary match and Jim felt forever blessed to call Arian his loving wife for 48 wonderful years.
Family was Jim’s whole world. In 1974, Jim and Arian welcomed Jason and in 1977 Kristy arrived to complete their family. Jim relished the role of a father to his children and he felt eternally grateful to be their Dad. He was a natural and loving father to his kids. More recently, when granddaughters Aliyah and Bryanah were born, Jim attained the coveted title of Grandpa. He was an important part of the girl’s lives and beyond proud to follow all their activities from Aliyah’s dance to Bryanah’s basketball. Currently, Aliyah was living with Jim and Arian while she was attending college. Jim’s granddaughters were his sun and his moon and they gave him joy beyond measure.
For 54 years, Jim brought great honor and respect to his sales career at several car dealerships until his retirement from Toyota of La Crosse in 2013. His integrity and warm personality naturally produced loyal clients and friends throughout his career. That continued even after retirement as Jim could be found advising and even accompanying friends and relatives to ensure they had the best car buying experience.
Throughout his life, Jim’s sense of humor, kindness and optimistic outlook endeared him to everyone. He could always be counted on for a joke to lighten any situation. Not surprisingly, Jim was blessed with treasured friends who added immensely to his quality of life. In retirement, Jim visited a dear friend in the memory care facility on a weekly basis. He also found time to call bingo at Brookdale Assisted Senior Living. Jim’s dedication to his friends, family and to making the world a little bit better place was paramount in his life.
Jim had a true love of sports whether watching them on TV with his son Jason, or in person cheering on a grandchild, other family members or a friend. He rooted for the Packers and every Wisconsin team, as well as the local teams. Phone calls regarding the latest sports score or stat kept him in touch with his twin brother on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis and with so many others. Those phone calls and visits will be greatly missed.
Jim was a man of great faith cultivated in his childhood and nurtured throughout his life. He was a parishioner and a valued member of Mary, Mother of the Church. He belonged to the Knights of Columbus and the MMOC Men’s Club where he was one of the top sellers for their yearly fundraising effort. The natural born salesman helped his church family and their presence greatly enriched his life as well.
After giving so much to so many for so long, Jim’s heart finally failed but the legacy of love he left behind will go on, continuing to bless those fortunate enough to have known this great man.
Jim is survived by his wife, Arian, son Jason, and daughter Kristy (Folly) Quevi, along with his granddaughters Aliyah and Bryanah. He is also survived by siblings and spouses: Marge (Ken) Meyer, Des Moines, IA, Jerry (Mary) Arens, Wabasha, MN, John (Rita) Arens, Kellogg, MN, Darlene (Steve) Leqve, Rochester, MN, Marlene Broin, Hastings, MN, Terry (Kathy) Arens, Wabasha, MN, Jean (John) Glomski, Lake City, MN and Ed Arens, Kellogg, MN.
He is further survived by his in-laws Barney (Laura) Adams, Neillsville, WI, Carmen (Larry) Olson, Black River Falls, WI, and Dan (Jessica) Adams, LaCrosse, WI.
He is further survived by nieces and nephews, and friends.
He was pre-deceased by his parents, Odell “Buzz” & Eleanore Arens, and his wife’s parents, Bernard & Lottie Adams.
Visitations will be held at Mary, Mother of the Church, 2006 Weston Street, La Crosse, on Wednesday, December 4th from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. with a prayer service at 4:00 p.m., as well as Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until the time of mass. A funeral mass will be held on Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. at Mary, Mother of the Church Parish. Father Brian Konopa will officiate with interment at Woodlawn Cemetery. Honorary casket bearers will be his godchildren: Michele Passe, John Arens, and Stacie Arens.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Mary, Mother of the Church or to the Gundersen Medical Foundation Heart Institute Fund.