James Wiegand

Wiegand, James O.

Our beloved Father, James Ottmer Wiegand, went home to his Lord and wife on Sunday, June 1, 2014. Jim was born in Appleton on May 7, 1922 to the late George and Mamie (Gilsdorf) Wiegand. Dad married the love of his life, Georgeann Boehnlein, on September 18, 1943 at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Menasha. They enjoyed 55 years of wedded bliss before she passed in 1999 and he has missed her so much.

Dad lived a long and full life. He graduated in 1943 from Menasha High School where he was very active in sports including 4 years as boxing champion, football, basketball and track. His pole vault record of 11 feet (using an aluminum pole) was unbeaten for 25 years. At the 1942 tournament, "Wege" threw the ball from half-court, made the basket to beat Marion to win the game. His diving nickname was "bombastic". He also talked his Dad into buying a blue convertible while still in high school and was known for driving the girls around. He built and flew model airplanes; he was an avid hunter pursuing many ducks at Courtney and Plummer's Marsh in Winneconne, pheasant, and was still goose hunting in his 80's; he loved to fish, boat and ski; he could never resist a motorcycle ride; and sponsored and played in a bowling league and also coached and played in basketball leagues. He was active in Boy Scouts at St. Pat's and the transporter of equipment to Gardner Dam in the 1950's. Dad would come home on a summer day and if the boys were out water skiing he would say "I'm next", roll up his bib overalls (which he wore all the time), take out his wallet, take off his shoes and socks, sit on the dock and they would pull him 2 times around the lake. He would time it just right, let go of the rope and coast back to the dock, put his shoes back on and say "Ma said it's time to eat supper boys" and never get wet!!

Dad worked at the KC Lakeview Mill from 1943 until he went to work for his Dad after WWII. When George passed away in 1953, Jim and his brother, Henry (Hank), became owners of Wiegand Builders. They eventually added a lumber company and Jim oversaw the home building and Hank ran the lumber company and counter. Wiegand Builders was well known in the area and we still hear all the time "Jim built our house". In 1983 they phased out the home building and ran the lumber company and specialized in custom cutting and building smaller custom-made items such as wooden toys, cabinets, picnic tables, etc. Hank retired in 1984 and then Jim and Georgie ran the business until their retirement in 1991. Selling the family business was a hard decision and left a void for a long time for the family. Mom and Dad went on to traveling and enjoyed many trips, including Israel, Europe, and the Mediterranean, in addition to many bus trips in the Midwest.

Dad built his house on Little Lake Butte de Mort in Menasha in 1949 and lived there 59 years. He was a hard worker, added on five additions to his house and made many pieces of furniture for Ma. He loved to sit in his backyard and watch the sunset (and tv). He spent his final years at the Valley VNA but never lost his infectious smile, laughter and love of whistling which was passed along to his son, Tom. He was loved and cherished by many RA's and staff members. He is already missed there.

They were blessed with six children: Jim Jr. (Debbie) of Crivitz; Tom (Nancy) of Menasha; Chris (Terry) Schommer of Elizabethtown, KY; Paul (Teresa) of Menasha; Mary (Scott) Winarski of Menasha and Tony of Neenah. He is further survived by 10 grandchildren: Brian (Jen) Wiegand, Brad Wiegand, Jennifer (Dan) Cuskey, Tammy Wiegand, Sarah (Joel) Johnson, Kelly (Mike) Wing, Sally (Ryan) Andersen, Wendy (Steve) Ullmer, Brooke Wiegand and Andy Wiegand; 13 great-grandchildren: Brenna, Brandon, Justin, Cassie, Cadon, Gavin, Mikayla, Bobby, Liam, Jack, Silas, Judah and Hadley; and his sister, Virginia Arft; sister-in-law, Betty Zimmer, brothers-in-law: Jack Boehnlein, Jim Boehnlein, and Vernon Rougeux, and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by a grandson, Anthony, Jr., his brother Hank and wife Marjorie; sister Dorothy Anderson and husband Howard; sister Joan; and brother-in-law Dan Arft.

A Funeral Liturgy will be held at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, 324 Nicolet Blvd, Menasha; at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 5, 2014. Visitation will be at the church from 9:30 a.m. until the time of Mass. Interment will take place at St. Mary Cemetery, Town of Menasha.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Jim's name.

The family would like to thank the staff at the Valley VNA for the wonderful care they have given Dad the last six years. We are extremely grateful for those who sat with him the last several weeks and talked and read to him. We thank ThedaCare Hospice for helping us through the last two months, especially Mary, our angel. We also thank Amy Alyward for her wonderful massages the last year which Dad enjoyed so much. A special thank you to his nephew, Rick Wiegand, for his many visits to see Dad and being there for us.

Dad, you were a kind, gentle, good hearted person and we will miss you and love you forever!


Funeral Home

Wichmann Funeral Home/Laemmrich Chapel
312 Milwaukee Street Menasha, WI 54952
(920) 722-8252

Published in Appleton Post-Crescent on June 4, 2014