Blessing, James E.
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A memorial service will be held Friday,. June 20 at 11 a.m for James E. Blessing, 74, at Memorial Baptist Church, 645 Forest Avenue, Fond du Lac. Visitation will be Friday from 10:30 a.m until time of service. Rev. Brian Hastings will officiate.
Jim passed away Wednesday June 4 at St. Agnes Hospital following complications of pneumonia and COPD. He died on his birthday, Jim had a love of nature and enjoyed fishing the creeks and rivers of Fond du Lac. He also loved to play the harmonica, organ and piano and enjoyed taking care of his cat, Mitzi..
Jim married his wife Josephine Caroline Mistretta in 1959 in Mason County, West Virgina. He grew up in West Virginia with his adopted parents, John Gunneaux and Ethel Bowyer. His wife and child were killed in an auto accident while he was away from home, resulting in a lifelong struggle with chronic alcoholism. He had a difficult time overcoming his dependency to alcohol, which resulted in dysfunctional behaviors and periods of incarceration. He was always grateful for the support of others who helped him deal with his situation, including the late Father Orville Janssen of Appleton, who was active in a jail ministry program, the late Francis Flint, who was also involved in a jail ministry program in Fond du Lac called Second Chance, and Tom Ekvall, who has been a guardian and representative payee for him in the past as well as a friend,. Jim took pride in the fact that he was able to give up his drinking over the last decade. His motto for life was "Freedom is not free."
Memorials are appreciated to the Recovery Support Center, a non-profit organization whose mission is to foster recovery and transformation for individuals who struggle with addiction or who have a criminal record. Founded by Steve Pierce, former Planning Director at ADVOCAP, the organization works with individuals and their families to recover and sustain their sobriety, develop hope for the future, build positive roles in their communities, strengthen the families and make communities safer. Information about the program is available at www.recoverysupportcenter.org. Contributions can be made to Recovery Support Center, 110 S. Second Street, Suite E, Watertown, WI 53904. Memorials can also be made to the Memorial Baptist Church in Fond du Lac.
Jim has been cremated in keeping with his wishes. Twohig Funeral Home, Fond du Lac, is serving his extended "family" with guestbook and online condolences at www.twohigfunerals.com
Published in Fond du Lac Reporter on June 15, 2014