James L. Sternhagen

Sternhagen, James Louis

James Louis Sternhagen, 73, died on Tuesday, March 11, 2014, at his home in Hewitt, Texas. Jim is the son of the late Victor and Evelyn Sternhagen, Appleton, Wis.

In 1963, Jim married the love of his life Roberta Lee at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Appleton. After graduating from Appleton High School in 1959, he went on to enlist in the United States Army, then the Army Air Force Reserve, followed by the National Guard-Air Force Reserve. In 1963, he joined the U.S. Air Force as a Flight Engineer for C130 aircraft for 15 years. He also had a passion for his job as a chopper pilot and carried a commercial pilot's license. During his exciting 41 year career working around the world for the Department of Defense - Logistics Agency some of the highlights included work as a Senior Industrial Specialist KC135 PDM/Modification at Airborne & Presidential Command Post Fleet on E4 Aircraft, and Program Integrator for F15 PDM (aircraft) in Tel-Aviv, Israel. Among other places, he also served in Kuala Lumpur and Bosnia. The family also lived in many different places in the U.S., but Jim didn't like Wisconsin weather and chose to stay warm and raise his family in Texas.

In his retirement, Jim was a 4th Degree Knight in the Knights of Columbus, was a member of EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association), Commemorative (Confederate) Air Force, VFW & American Legion. He was active in his community as a volunteer helping others and had a strong faith and belief in the Lord.

Jim had a zest for life and living on the edge! In his younger years, Jim was an avid motorcyclist, skydiver and scuba diver. He would make phone calls home from nearly every nook and cranny on the planet. In later years he enjoyed a slower pace playing golf.

Family was very important to Jim. In addition to his heartbroken wife of 51 years, Roberta, he is greatly missed by his daughters, Renee Marie (Sternhagen) Stack (Ed); Ronda Evelyn, and Rachel Irene living in Australia; sons, Jamey Victor Sternhagen (Terri), and Joshua Clifford Sternhagen; four grandchildren, Amy Ann Sternhagen, Lewis Ryan Sternhagen, Quinn and Connor Scoggins; and three great-grandchildren, James Christopher Sternhagen, Victor David Sternhagen, and Matthew Reilly Sternhagen, all residing in Texas.

In addition, Jim is survived by his sisters, Marilyn Odegard, Green Bay; Cynthia Sternhagen Mueller (Daniel) Combined Locks; brothers, Leon Sternhagen Sr. (Barbara); Robert Sternhagen (Linda) Appleton, and Gary Sternhagen (Laurie) Appleton. Jim leaves behind numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

A memorial service and day of remembrance for Jim will be held at a later date in his hometown of Appleton, Wis.

Jim used to say, "Never say goodbye unless you don't plan to ever see the other person again. It's see you later." See you later bro, see you later!




Published in Appleton Post-Crescent on Apr. 27, 2014