TUSCALOOSA | Col. James T. Kisgen, USMC Ret., died January 4, 2014. He was 96 years old.
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He was born in Carroll, Iowa. He attended Creighton University where he earned an undergraduate degree and a law degree. He practiced law in Carroll, Iowa until he enlisted in the Marine Corps during WW ll. He and his two brothers fought in the Pacific throughout the war, including battles at Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima. He returned to Iowa to practice law for several years after the war and to start a family. He returned to the Marine Corps during the Korean Conflict and remained a Marine until his retirement in 1967. He served as the legal counsel to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Washington, DC, until 1969, when he and his family moved to Tuscaloosa, where he became the Personnel Director of Gulf States Paper Corporation, a position he held until his retirement in 1983. He was an avid golfer, winning numerous tournaments and awards around the State of Alabama. He shot his age regularly as he got older, and served as president of Indian Hills Country Club while a member there. He was also a member of North River Golf Club. He had a great love of military life, and the United States Marine Corps. He was a charter member of the Mike Spann Detachment of the Marine Corps League, and was a charter member of the Alabama Marines Foundation.
A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, January 7, 2014, at 10:30 a.m., at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, with the Rev, Jerry Deasy officiating. He will be buried in Arlington Cemetery with his beloved wife Foy, and oldest son Jimmy, who preceded him in death along with his oldest daughter, Carolyn.
Col. Kisgen is survived by his son, Tom Kisgen and his wife Eloise (Weesi); by his son, Pat Kisgen and his wife Debra; by his daughter, Ann Knebel; and his daughter, Jenifer Coletta and her husband John Coletta; ten grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Holy Spirit Catholic Church or to Toys for Tots, in care of Alabama Marines Foundation, 1655 McFarland Blvd., PMB #155, Tuscaloosa, AL 35406.
Arrangements are being handled by Tuscaloosa Memorial Chapel Funeral Home.
Published in Tuscaloosa News on Jan. 6, 2014