James was born in St. Mary’s Hospital in Racine, Wisconsin on November 19, 1942 to William and Violet (Kannenberg) Lenzke. He married Nancy Drinnan, his junior high school sweetheart, on June 20, 1960. Jim graduated from William Horlick High School Class of 1960 in Racine. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1965. His varied working career included Executive Vice-President of Racine Junction Savings and Loan, and Technical Editor of Old Cars Weekly Newspaper at Krause Publications, Iola, Wisconsin. He loved cars—old ones in particular. He had an outstanding memory for automotive history and technical details. He authored numerous automobile reference books. His interests included: movies, traveling, camping with his Airstream trailer, and visiting his family at various Air Force bases and Canadian provinces.
Survivors include his loving wife Nancy, son Stuart and wife Anna Sun (No), daughter Lizabeth (Betsy) and Addison Tower, and daughter Sarah Blumenstein (friend Brian Hoving). He dearly loved his grandchildren: Samantha Russell, his favorite first-born granddaughter; Sarah (Sally) Tower, his favorite second-born granddaughter; and Preston Tower, his favorite first-born grandson. Jim is also survived by his brother, William and wife Creta Lenzke and family, and brother Robert and wife Barbara Lenzke and family. His sisters-in-law are Mary-Ellen and Thomas Bothwell and family, and Kathryn and Robert Berkley and family. His cousin, Ronald and Mary-Ann Lenzke, Ron was like his third brother. Nieces, nephews, cousins and countless special friends will miss his sense of humor.
It was very important to Jim to be an organ donor. His gifts will help up to 75 people. In lieu of flowers, please consider becoming an organ donor by signing your driver’s license. See donatelifewisconsin.org for more information. The family wishes to express their thanks to all the medical professionals who assisted us with James.
The family will be celebrating Jim’s life on Sunday, May 29, 2016 at Iola Senior Village Clubhouse, 120 S. Town Line Road in Iola from 12:00 noon – 3:00 p.m. Burial will be in the Caersalem Cemetery in Wild Rose, Wisconsin on a date to be determined. The Voie Funeral Home in Iola is assisting the family.