James R. Swenson “Big Jim” of Scandinavia, WI went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on January 20, 2014.
He was born on January 9, 1929 in Iola, Wisconsin to James and Esther (Anderson) Swenson. On February 25, 1950 he married Donna Jenson in Evanston, Illinois. As early as 14, Jim drove cattle truck to Milwaukee, and hitchhiked with friends to Kansas to work grain harvests. He worked as a mechanic for his uncle Tony Rotter in Racine; worked as a mechanic for Eric Benson in Wilmette, IL; did construction work for Bert Olund Construction in Evanston, IL; he purchased a milk route in Scandinavia and picked up milk from farmers and hauled to the Scandinavia Creamery; drove fuel delivery truck for Clark Oil; he operated a service garage in Scandinavia; he worked for Johnson Construction in Scandinavia; he hauled logs for Olson Bros. of West Bend. Jim later went into the electrical trade working for Kiel & Werner of Neenah then for Uptown Electric of Waupaca and again for Kiel & Werner running many large jobs. He then took over the electrical department for Waupaca Foundry and later transitioned to Superintendent of Project Construction and helped with various expansions of the Foundry through the 70’s and 80’s. After retiring in 1992 he continued consulting with various electrical and construction jobs. Jim enlisted in the U. S. Army in October of 1946 and had a medical discharge in February 1947.
Through the years Jim enjoyed camping, snowmobiling, boating, hunting (especially deer camp), fishing, working in his shop – fabricating, building, working on machinery, restoring tractors and fixing just about anything. He enjoyed the challenge of purchasing “the shack” on Spencer Lake transforming it into a restoration of the family cottage where he enjoyed many good times with family, friends and especially the grandchildren. Jim has 21 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife – Donna, daughter Brenda (Erle) Towne, daughter Julaine (Thane) Mules, son James (Lynn) Swenson, daughter Heidi (David) Hintz, daughter – Kristen (Erik) Hanson and son Mitchell Swenson. He is also survived by brothers-in-law Reuben (Jane) Jenson and Herbert (Joyce) Jenson and sisters-in-law Lois (Leland) Thompson and Jean (Vernon) Oehlke. Jim is further survived by nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Jim was precedeth in death by his sister Jeanette, father James, stepfather Julian Hoyard, mother Esther Hoyard, granddaughter Seona Mules and sister and brother-in-law Lola Jane and Edward Mickiewicz Throughout his life Jim volunteered at Scandinavia Lutheran Church, Scandinavia Booster Club for the Free Fair and Corn Roast, Iola Old Car Show and other community projects.
Jim’s memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, January 27, 2014 at Scandinavia Lutheran Church, Scandinavia, WI with Pastor Mark Sabin officiating. Visitation will be held at Scandinavia Lutheran Church on Sunday, January 26, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and again on Monday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service. Interment will take place at a later date at the Scandinavia Lutheran Church Cemetery. The Voie Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements (www.voiefuneralhome.com). In-lieu-of flowers memorials can be directed to the Scandinavia Lutheran Church building debt reduction fund. A special thank you goes to his medical team at Marshfield Clinic and for the medical staff at St. Michael’s hospital and to family and friends for their prayers and support. Jim will be remembered for his ingenuity and generosity and for being a great, husband, dad, grandpa and friend.