James A. "Jim" Hazard
Hazard, James A. "Jim" Accomplished poet, journalist, teacher, and musician, passed away on March 2, 2012. He was 76 years old. Mr. Hazard, a proud native of Whiting, Indiana, became a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1968, where he helped found the creative writing department. He earned a BA from Northwestern University and an MA from the University of Connecticut. Since the 1980s, Mr. Hazard concentrated on non-fiction writing, including regular contributions to Milwaukee Magazine. Mr. Hazard published many books, including Fire in Whiting Indiana, Look Both Ways, the Hive of Souls, and New Years Eve in Whiting, Indiana, which won the Posner Award. Mr. Hazard was known for his devotion to teaching. In addition to his work in the UWM English Department, he taught at the Milwaukee Jewish Day School, UW-Milwaukee's College for Kids, and at elder hostels. He also worked as a Poet-in-the-Schools at elementary schools across the state. He was named Professor Emeritus upon retiring from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2007, after which he focused on traveling--among his favorite places were Rome and Greece. He also continued his lifelong passion for the cornet, playing in the recent Tripoli Shrine Circus Band, the Golden Eagles Band, and the Whitefish Bay Band. Mr. Hazard was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Susan Firer, their children Bix Firer, Caitlin Firer, and Erin (Josh Modell) Hazard, and three children from previous marriages, Cael (Angie) Hazard, Jennifer Hazard, and Dylan (Marcia) Hazard Woods-Weisman, as well as six grandchildren and two great -grandchildren. He is also survived by a brother, Timothy Hazard, and sister, Elizabeth Kania. There will be a visitation from 4PM-7PM on Sunday, March 11, at Feerick Funeral Home, followed by a celebration of Jim's life.

Published by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Mar. 4, 2012.
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78 Entries
What a dear man he was! It was so much fun being interviewed by him for Milwaukee Magazine. Such a clear spirit. He is still much missed.
Kathleen Marquardt
Acquaintance
March 2, 2021
I am so sorry for your loss. He, and your family, were always so incredibly kind to me. I will always remember the holidays you all let me spend with you. Thank you.
Michelle Boyle (Zierhut)
March 23, 2012
My sympathies to the family of James Hazard.
Andy Gordon(former student of Susan Firer)
March 20, 2012
i was fortunate enough to have jim hazard as a creative writing teacher at uwm. he made a lasting impression on me and i am so sad to hear of his passing. i will never forget him and my prayers go out to his family.
laura mishefske
March 19, 2012
Another old friend now gone.
Good teachers live on in the lives of their students.
Were Bruce still with us, I am sure he would have had many happy memories to share with you.
Sharon Rowe
March 17, 2012
So sorry to hear about Jim, but you were all the best as neighbors for so many years. My sympathy to you all, Lou Ann Madson
March 16, 2012
I was absolutely devastated to learn of Jim's passing. He was an extraordinary human being and I am grateful to have known him (as both a teacher and a friend). My thoughts and prayers go out to Susan and her entire family during this difficult time.
Matt Markwalder
March 15, 2012
My husband was waiting in the eye doctor's office with my son, when he read about Jim. He told me last night, "Remember that professor you used to talk about all the time?" When I said his name out loud and my husband confirmed the news, I was shocked. I took quite a few classes with Jim and Susan as an undergraduate in the eighties. Each one memorable. We ran a few Jazz/Poetry Readings at the Eighth Note Coffee House (I think I still have the cassette recordings in my basement somewhere). Then I bumped into Jim years later in the halls at Curtin when I was about to begin my Master's degree. He recognized me immediately and we chatted for a long time, catching up on family and life changes. He was unique that way, actually stopping to take time to talk. Conversation was never, ever rushed. In the classroom it was the same; I can still see him pensively looking over a text, pausing to think, considering how he was going to say something, and peeking over his readers to share his thoughts.

I will remember him forever as a kind man, a powerful poet, a dedicated teacher, and a dear old friend. My deep condolences to his family.
Rhonda Suchy-Liebetrau
March 14, 2012
I was close to getting my Comparative Literature degree at UWM in the early eighties. Then I took a creative writing class from Jim. His easy style of teaching and critiquing was unlike any I had experienced in academia. He made me believe I could write, mostly by saying, "This is good. Write more!" and then moving on to other subjects. He always acted like he had all the time in the world when I visited him in his office. I ended up switching to English as my major, which meant an extra year of classes. But I was so happy to be writing! I loved the way he called me "kiddo." I loved his loping walk. I loved how he was always excited about more than once thing. I love how he told stories. I loved his writing. I loved his laugh. He was one of those people who, during dark times in my life, I would turn to in my mind and say, "As long as Jim is on this Earth, life can't be all bad." Now I guess I will have to change that to, "As long as Jim is in my memory, life can't be all bad." Condolences to Jim's family, all of whom I know he loved very much. How do I know? He told me.
Wendy Henning
March 14, 2012
Susan,

I was saddened to learn of Jim's passing. He was a wonderful man and teacher. I was fortunate to have taken several poetry classes led by Jim. Jim did more tha teach. He engaged everyone in the class in a celebration of life, witness to all of the greatness in each of us and in expressing our observations and feelings in our poetry.

Jim was also on my Masters committee. I remember his questions and observations well. He was always caring, forthright and genuine.

I have often thought of him over the years and always hoped to reconnect with him. In a sense, I stayed connected to him through his poetry and other writings and through your poetry. Your poems capture Jim, your family life and life in Milwaukee in a most profound way.

My condolences to you and your family.
Jerry Gassen
March 14, 2012
I ran into Jim about three weeks ago (running into him in public places was one of the enjoyable serendipities of life in the North Shore).Thinking about the hoops you have to run through to be published these days, Jim remembered a friend saying his--Jim's-- problem was he wasn't angry about his childhood. Jim smiled and said that was true. I never got to know Jim as much as I wish I had, but like to think that comment showed he was at peace with where he had come from and the life he had lived. It's a consoling thought in the face of his loss.
Jon Kolb
March 13, 2012
A wonderful man with a wonderful family. He will be very missed.
Kati (Beck) Ellis
March 12, 2012
Dear Susan and Family, Jim taught creative writing at Milwaukee Jewish Day School when I was the Director
there. Although he only met with students two days a week, it is not an exaggeration to say that he was a key influence on their writing and in some cases on their very lives. Students would come into my office and ask when Jim would be in school again and could they leave him a piece of their writing right now so that he could critique it as soon as he arrived. They were anxious for his feedback and to go on writing.
When you have middle school boys writing poetry to survive their budding adolescence, you know Jim did important work not only as a teacher, but also as a human being.
Doris Shneidman
March 12, 2012
So very, very sorry. I always loved hearing Jim read - could have sat there all day. I have no words.
Sue Blaustein
March 12, 2012
Dear Susan and Family,

I only knew Jim as a writer, having edited many of his stories for Milwaukee Magazine. He probably had the longest association with the magazine of any free lance writer in its history. He was a joy to edit: he loved the whole process of writing yet was modest (far too modest) about what he did and easy-going about any editing. And he could write about a wide range of subjects, always bringing compassion, a sense of humor and wide-eyed sense of curiosity to the people he wrote about. He will be missed by MIlwaukee Magazine's readers and the community of writers in this city.
Bruce Murphy
March 11, 2012
Dear Susan, You and your family have our deepest sympathy. Let us know if we can give you a hand in the future. Kathy, Jos and Mark Sauer
March 11, 2012
Dear Susan and family,

The writing class I took from Jim while UWM was a wonderful experience. He provided an atmosphere that made our small group the community of writers i was looking for, and he taught in a way that was almost sneaky; it didn't feel like teaching, but like just great company - smart, funny abd generous company and of course, stories. My heart and mind are with you.
Sandra Ahrens
March 11, 2012
Dear Susan and family,
I enjoyed Jim's company and wit. In particular I remember a conversation we had in 2004, after he saw my choreography set to Susan's poetry. Jim turned to me and said something along the lines of, "I was watching a rabbit crossing the street the other day and I realized that the whole world is choreographing all of the time." I thought then (and still do) that this was one of the truest statements. Leave it to Jim...
with great love and respect, Janet Lilly
Janet Lilly
March 11, 2012
We have lost Jim too soon. He still had so much to give. Now it falls upon our memories of him to carry the water..

I remember as early as the 1980s when I hosted Poetry Readings at Chuck LaPaglia's Jazz Gallery, Jim was one of the first featured poets, and the passion with which he read "Goin' to Chicago" is indelible. Too, I remember sitting at the same place with Jim and Susan listening to Paul Cebar play songs from the 1930s and 40s, and the obvious joy he took from those sessions. Passion and joy.. . Thanks.
David Press
March 11, 2012
Susan,
He was a fine writer and a great man. He was the first writer to encourage me. And he encouraged too many to count. He will not be forgotten.

Our love to you and the family at this very painful time.

Debra Kay Vest and Tim Holte
March 10, 2012
I frequently bumped into Jim as we ran errands in Shorewood. I always asked about you, Susan, and he would give me an update on you and the children/grandchildren. I loved hearing his news because the joy and pride he had in his family was so heartwarming. One just felt good hearing his voice and seeing him smile.
Such an accomplished life,
Such a thoughtful man,
Such sadness at his passing.
Susan Huse
March 10, 2012
Susan,
Michael and I send our condolences to you all.
Janet Mehren
March 10, 2012
When Susan called, I felt a knife stab in my throat. I knew the unthinkable had happened. I told her that I thought they would go on forever, the sublime couple of our dreams. I called him Diz for Dizzy Dean. He saved my life in his poetry classes thirty some years ago. What an intelligent smile fest they were. I feel sorry for those students who will never have the chance to hear that slow Jack Nicholson voice expounding on everything from lamb chops to Billie Holiday to Ted Williams. Always supportive. Diz and Susan stopped to see me in the north woods after watching and listening to Loons up in Mercer a year or more ago. I remember Diz laid back in a big stuffed chair, grinning like the Cheshire Cat as Susan and I yakked about Ralph Lauren perfume and Calvin Klein shoes. Looked at their kids' photos. We had a jazzy few hours. I will always feel blessed to have had them as friends. This is a terrible loss for so many of us, a black hole void. I send a galaxy of blessings to Susan and the family. And to the word pitcher, solar flares to light his path through whatever eternity he travels.
Gennie Nord
March 10, 2012
It has been a comfort this week to read these condolences, to see Jim reflected in others with such great love. I've known Jim and Susan most closely as fellow Shorewood parents. His love for his family infused all our conversations. You could see it in his smile, hear it in his voice, his laugh. Frater, ave atque vale.
Bill Horstman
March 9, 2012
I spoke to Jim a few days before his passing in Pick @ Save. We had a very focused, interesting conversation. This is a wonderful way to remember him.
Marie Mellott
March 9, 2012
I was a student of Jim Hazard for many years. I called him "The Prof." and considered him "my Guru" with regards to my writing. I could always find a home in one of his classes, and he always treated his students with dignity and respect - qualities that have become increasingly rare in college life. He always made time to talk - whenever we ran into each other, and one of my fondest memories was seeing him recite his poetry at Harry Schwartz and, seeing him blush as I joined my fellow classmates in snapping our fingers in applause! Farewell Prof.!! Will Scott LaDuke - Former student and acolyte. Riverwest/Milwaukee
March 9, 2012
I did not know Jim nor do I know anyone in his family. I received an email about his passing because I work for UWM. I decided to see who he was and I am so glad I did. I am inspired, just by the comments I read here, to know that there are kind souls out there who affect others in the way he did. He must have been extremely special! My condolences to those who knew and loved him.
March 9, 2012
Every class that Hazard taught during my (too long) stint at UWM, I took. My family jokes that I majored in Hazard. Upon reading about his death online at Milwaukee Magazine, I was saddened, remembering a man who helped me through the maze of university bs and life. I learned something about myself in every class and it was an honor to sift through life's intricate puzzles with him. My prayers are with his family and all of those who were privileged enough to know the man. Peace Hazard.
Andrea Pratt Ellzey
March 9, 2012
Adon Hazard was one of my favorite teachers at MJDS. He helped me discover poetry and creative writing, and encouraged me to express myself in a way that I had never done before. Last summer, I was harvesting grapes in my yard when Adon Hazard walked by. He didn't recognize me, but we started talking about the grapes and how they brought up his childhood memories. I reintroduced myself and told him how much I appreciated his class at MJDS.
I am deeply saddened by his passing. My thoughts go out to his family and all of those that loved him.
Deborah Kavalar (MJDS, 1998)
March 9, 2012
I am so lucky to have known Jim for 40 years as teacher and friend. Jim's sense of awe, his life-long engagement with what's amazing in the ordinary was contagious, and everyone who knew him was given the gift of seeing the world as he did, if only briefly. He taught word arts, a useful craft, but he also taught people how to grow their souls. My heart goes out to Susan and family.
Deborah Fries
March 9, 2012
How unexpected. I wish I could take some of the missing and sorrow from you all. I always felt a little better about myself around Jim and Susan. I imagine that gift of Jim's to be interested in and happy to see others is one that many experienced. I remember it as a four-year old visiting the home, and anytime our paths crossed in the years that followed. I am sorry for me and all the others who will miss Jim, but I can only imagine how you loved ones are miissing him.
Elizabeth Germanis Fetzer
March 8, 2012
I took one of Jim Hazard's poetry classes at UWM in the 1980s, as I pursued my English degree. I enjoyed the course immensely, and I still recall a haiku that I wrote as an assignment, after he helped us understand the art form. He was a great teacher, and I am so sorry to hear of his passing. My thoughts go out to his family.

Ann-Elise Henzl
March 8, 2012
Susan and family,

When I read of Jim, I gasped for air. I cried and whaled out loud. No man has ever been as kind to me and insightful in my life. He was crystal clear in his vision, aimed directly at family. I remember the two of you before you were married. He sure reeled in on what was important. He accepted folks for who they were and relished the differences. Love to you Susan
Karin Long
March 8, 2012
Gennie Nord
March 8, 2012
One of my favorite teachers at UWM--took 2 of his classes. I liked him so much, I brought a camera to class and still have a picture of him from 1996. My condolences to the family.
Amy D.
March 7, 2012
To all of the Hazard & Firer Families, I have only known Jim for the past 3 years, since I began caring for Jim's grandson, Jack. However, I can honestly say he was one of the kindest, most sincere people I have ever known. I did not know him well but grew to understand him through the eyes of Caitlin and little Jack. Both Caitlin and Jack adored him. The day Jim died, he had picked up little Jack from my home and we chatted about the snow and walking dogs and how we both enjoyed these things. As always, he thanked me for caring for his grandson and they walked out the door. Little did I know that would be the last time I would see him. His memory will live on in my heart and through Caitlin and especially little Jack who is now without his dueling partner. What a wonderful man Jim Hazard was....
Annie Lincoln
March 7, 2012
"We have recently lost one of the most unique and important poets of our time, whose work brought forth a Midwestern sensibility with a vision of the entire universe. Jim Hazard died a few days ago and mourning his loss can best be accomplished by finding The Outlaw Museum Guide --perhaps one of his finest works, though there were so many-- and realizing that his poetic voice was a guide through literary, cultural and human museums where all the essentials are preserved. Jim Hazard's pen was that of an outlaw and his poetry shots fired upon memory's display of the whole human condition: Jim Hazard will not be forgotten nor will his writings and in mourning there is only solace taken because he has passed through, leaving us with his artful renderings of ourselves and the things we need."--Dr Martin Jack Rosenblum
Martin Rosenblum
March 7, 2012
I am deeply saddened by this news. His loss hit me as a deeply personal shock. In Jim's case it is a life to be celebrated as he affected so many people. He was one of the great spirits who moved us all, making everyone he met better from having done so. I always liked Jim and send the entire family my deepest, sincerest condolences!
Chuck Goldman
March 7, 2012

"We have recently lost one of the most unique and important poets of our time, whose work brought forth a Midwestern sensibility with a vision of the entire universe. Jim Hazard died a few days ago and mourning his loss can best be accomplished by finding The Outlaw Museum Guide --perhaps one of his finest works, though there were so many-- and realizing that his poetic voice was a guide through literary, cultural and human museums where all the essentials are preserved. Jim Hazard's pen was that of an outlaw and his poetry shots fired upon memory's display of the whole human condition: Jim Hazard will not be forgotten nor will his writings and in mourning there is only solace taken because he has passed through, leaving us with his artful renderings of ourselves and the things we need."--Dr Martin Jack Rosenblum
Martin Rosenblum
March 7, 2012
Adon Hazard impacted me greatly as a child. He gave me confidence in my writing that I carry with me until the present day. I am deeply saddened by this loss and can only pray that young students today are cared for in the way I was. Thank you, Adon Hazard. May your memory be a blessing. (Miya Keren, MJDS graduate 1997)
Miya Keren
March 7, 2012
One of my earliest memories of Jim Hazard was when he stopped by our house in Shorewood to see how it was doing, since he used to live there. I thought it was so neat that one my teachers used to live in my house! I also have many fond memories from creative writing with him at College for Kids and poetry at MJDS. What a kind, warmth-emanating, thoughtful man.

Emmy, MJDS Alum '97
March 6, 2012
Dear Hazard family,
I knew him as " Jim," and Bix's devoted dad. I was Bix's first grade teacher and had the honor of knowing him in his "dad" role. One of the many things that struck me about him was his sense of wonder. He always seemed to have a childlike joy about everyday things. He had such a deep understanding of Bix's love for history and respected and honored that by taking him to many of the Civil War sites Bix was so curious about seeing. It seemed that he loved having the chance to share his love of history with his son, so they immersed themselves in it! It was a case of putting passion into action. My guess is that life was pretty fun for all of Jim's kids with a father so full of a love for learning. While I did not get the chance to know him in his role as a teacher, a good friend of mine did. From what she said, he found a way to put all of that childlike wonder into words! The last time I saw him was in the grocery store about 3 weeks ago. As was his way, the discussion naturally turned toward the joys of being a grandparent. We both agreed that grandparenthood is "delicious!" It was hard to come up with another word to describe how joyous it is. He seemed to live and love life so fully. (a lucky man)
My thoughts and prayers go out to all of his loving family.
Alice Keane
Alice Keane
March 6, 2012
Adon Hazard was one of the kindest, most inspirational individuals I have ever known. If I could emulate half the passion that he had for his career and his students, I will consider myself lucky. I am honored to have been his student.

A limb has fallen from the family tree.
I keep hearing a voice that says, "Grieve not for me.
Remember the best times, the laughter, the song.
The good life I lived while I was strong.
Continue my heritage, I'm counting on you.
Keep smiling and surely the sun will shine through.
My mind is at ease, my soul is at rest.
Remembering all, how I truly was blessed.
Continue traditions, no matter how small.
Go on with your life, don't worry about falls
I miss you all dearly, so keep up your chin.
Until the day comes we're together again

–Author unknown
Ali MJDS Grad '97
March 6, 2012
Must note the passing of a great teacher @ UW-O in the sixties, Jim Hazard.... It brings to mind this quote: "Nothing that is complete breathes." ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin. "Haz" introduced us to all the great voices of that time, took students to Haight-Ashbury to hear Ferlinghetti and Denise Levertov while we stayed in a "Diggers" commune and supped with Emmett Grogan. He gently prodded us to re-invent the Wisconsin Review and fill it with poems, art and prose... His inspiration changed our lives,,, thanks Jim.
~Nick Nebel
March 6, 2012
Adon Hazard was one of my favorite teachers and really inspired my creative writing skills from an early age. I went on to study journalism in college and he really had a big impact on that. He was an engaging, caring man who loved his students and really challenged them. He will be very missed.
Katie , MJDS grad '03
March 6, 2012
Adon Hazard inspired me as a young man to write and to believe in myself. He turned me on to the world of poetry and literature, for which I am forever grateful. What I remember most about Adon Hazard was how kind he was.. Thank you Jim, we were lucky to know you.
Noah Arnold
March 6, 2012
Way back in the ‘70s I felt every day that I was surrounded by poets, and Jim was at the center of all that. When I have spoken of him over the years I have always described him as my teacher, and I always will. A lot of people owe a lot to Jim.
Gordon Hickey
March 6, 2012
It has been practically 16 years since my last class with Jim Hazard, but I think of him every time I write. The way he spoke about writing was inspirational. I am truly thankful for the mark that he has left on my life. I will never forget him.
MJDS grad of 1997
March 6, 2012
My sincerest condolences to your family & friends.
Lisa Mahan
March 6, 2012
One of my favorite teachers of all time. I always looked forward to his class the most. He was such a wonderful person and will truly be missed by everyone! Rest in peace, Adon Hazard!
MJDS grad of 06
March 6, 2012
Susan and family,

So sorry to hear of Jim's passing. My very best to all of you,
Jeffrey Winke
March 6, 2012
poetry teacher from middle school... missed and loved. -MJDS grad. 04
March 5, 2012
My deepest sympathies on so tragic a loss. My heart is pouring out more love for you than words can carry.
Monica Thomas
March 5, 2012
I was saddened to hear of the passing of one of my favorite college professors. Jim was a great teacher and an inspiration as a writer. He could truly tell a good story and keep his listeners in rapt attention. Jim will be sorely missed.
Patty Zastrow - Jankowski
March 5, 2012
Dear Susan----------
I remember so clearly running into Jim at Sendik's shortly after my adored Westie, Seamus, died and the expression of kindness & condolence on Jim's face was SO clear & strong, it caused me to burst out crying! Now I know that's just the kind of man he was! I'd always hoped we could have sipped a cappuccino together (or better yet, a glass of vino!) in our mutually-loved Italia....but now instead my prayers and thoughts are with you & your entire family, especially little Jack.
Love,
Anne Catalane
Anne Catalane
March 5, 2012
Susan, I'm so sorry to learn of Jim's passing. He did so much for poetry in Milwaukee and elsewhere. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts. Ken Pobo
March 5, 2012
Susan, I'm deeply saddened to hear of Jim's passing, and my heart goes out to you during this time. Jim was a warm, wonderful, witty, and funny man, and he was incredibly kind to other people, especially fellow writers. He probably said the nicest thing anyone every said about my work, and you could tell he meant it. I will treasure that always, and I will miss him. My wish for you in this difficult time is that your own memories of him will help sustain you. Jim was one in a million.
CJ Hribal
March 5, 2012
Susan, I can't believe it. My friend Julie Bartos called to tell me. We are both so saddened. It was an amazing joy and privilege to be interviewed by him for the Milwaukee Magazine profile he did on me, and great, rousing, satisfying fun. Thank you so much for creating the opportunity to care about him. What a delightful man! His life touched so many; he really mattered. You and your family are in my heart, dear one.
Kathleen Marquardt
March 5, 2012
My sympathies. Jim was a wonderful, kind, compassionate and engaging person.
Barb Kuster
Barb Kuster
March 5, 2012
Susan; Jim, you and your family are in the hearts and prayers of all of us. Nick Poulos
March 5, 2012
I am deeply saddened to hear of Jim's passing. I took a number of courses with him at UWM and I soaked up all his musings on writing, reading, film, and music. He instilled confidence in young writers, like myself, and gave us the freedom to experiment with all types of writing. We lost a great thinker, writer, and friend.
Andrew O'Connor
March 5, 2012
I was studying art and poetry at UWM on the GI Bill in 1987, working summers in Alaska. Although I felt "out-of-place", I had two classes with Jim and remember him as a shepherd soul who invited all stragglers to his flock. He undoubtedly helped many more people than he could remember. He has a warrior heart, and I am a better person for having walked a way with him. My sincere condolences to you and your family, Susan.
Jeffers Larson
March 5, 2012
This was a rough day for me, hearing about Jim, as I'm sure it was for all of Jim's friends, family, colleagues, and students. Although I've now structured my writing life around filmmaking and screenwriting, I recently went back to editing an old novel I started in a Jim Hazard class, probably around seven years ago. I really don't know where I would be as a writer without Jim; he gave us great freedom to be ourselves, at the same time introducing us to great artists of all backgrounds and art forms. I often found myself in class turning to other students like: “Are you hearing this, this is amazing!” Through his classes I met other enthusiastic students who I could turn to and laugh with and marvel at the master. He was a master of improvising and it was always relevant and vital and so interesting. He not only influenced me but inspired and encouraged me. He was relentlessly inspiring and encouraging. My heart goes out to Susan and the family and those who are mourning this great loss.
Joe Bonelli
March 5, 2012
Caitlin & family, I am sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Chris Kinney
March 5, 2012
I was in two of Jim's courses, and I considered him a friend. But my greatest admiration for him was as a poet. I used to read one of his poems at readings. I never told him that, but I suspect that now he knows. My heart goes out to Susan and to all his family and friends.
David Brannan
March 5, 2012
Aunt Sue - our family once again grows smaller. My heart and prayers are with you and my cousins during this time of sorrow. Please know that your Whiting family loves and misses all of you. God Bless.
Laura Kania-Blastick
March 4, 2012
I am heartbroken. I loved Jim, as I do you, Susan. We have been friends and colleagues for nearly 25 years. One of my most beloved memories is the night before my PhD dissertation defense when Jim and Susan drove me all over Milwaukee showing me their favorite spots, including all the spots every writer should know about. I will never forget that night. It was magical. Susan, my heart is with you and your family. Please let me know if you need anything--class coverage, anything.
Kris Terwelp
March 4, 2012
Jim was one of the most important people in my life. Not a day goes by that I don't remember something he said about writing, baseball, jazz, or whatever. The years I spent studying with him at UWM were hugely influential in my career as a poet and an editor, and whatever success I've had is in great part due to his wisdom, his kindness, and his talent. As long as I can remember anything I will remember him. My heart goes out to you, Susan, and to the rest of your family.
Robert Alexander
March 4, 2012
I mostly knew Jim through Susan, who was my writing mentor. But Jim saved the day for me when he agreed to be on my masters committee in 2001 because of another untimely death in the English department. I always found Jim to be warm, kind, humorous and supportive, and his writings so easy to listen to at a reading. I have had the privilege to attend several English department events in their home, and am honored to have known Jim and Susan, both because of their incredible literary talent, but also because of their warmth and humanity. There are no words (even for a poet) to describe how sad I am for his loss. I know he was incredibly devoted to his wife, children and grandchildren and will leave a big hole in the hearts of all who knew him. The world has lost a great spirit, teacher, writer, and family man. My deepest sympathy to Susan and family, and if there is anything I can do, please contact me. My thoughts are with you as well as my thanks for all the past kindnesses that were extended to me by my most respected writing couple.
Sandra Margulius
March 4, 2012
I've only known Jim for about 9 years. We bonded over baseball, and it was a thrill to talk to him after the Sox won the series in '05. We had been talking about seeing a game for some time, and the last time I saw him, less than two weeks ago, we embraced, and I told him that I was getting tickets, and we would finally see that game. He said he couldn't wait. Although we never had a chance to see the game, he will be with me everytime I'm there. I will miss you ...
Joey Buchholz
March 4, 2012
"Jim was that rare artist whose kindness was as large as his huge talent. For decades I have been reading his poetry along with Susan's at my concerts in New York and at salons in my home. His work always brought laughter and tears and caused heads to shake in wonder. A huge loss. So long my old librettist, lyricist and friend." Jerome Kitzke (New York City)
Jerome Kitzke
March 4, 2012
Susan, opened address book to call you two just this aft. In same moment, someone called to tell me. I must have "known" somehow, today he's with Walt & Mary Zane. So much love & sympathy to you; thanks to Jim for a lifetime...friend since Oshkosh, teacher forever.
Sheri Gibbs
March 4, 2012
Jim was a talented, wonderful teacher and writer. He influenced my own teaching and writing at the University of Richmond. I will never forget him.
Dona Hickey
March 4, 2012
I am so sorry to hear about Jim. What a terrible loss for so many. I know of all the roles he played in this life - poet, journalist, teacher, musician - none were more important to him than husband, father, and grandfather. My thoughts are with all of you.
Heide Piehler
March 4, 2012
The Milwaukee writing community has lost a talented and beloved leader. So sad to see him go.
Jude Marks Ford
March 4, 2012
The World has Lost Another Great Artist. Jim Lived with Great Passion and Taught Many Others to do the Same. He was my Teacher and Mentor Influencing Every Word I have Written or Will Write.
He will be Greatly Missed.
Paul Bruno
March 4, 2012
So sad and sorry to hear about Jim. He was a lovely man, warm, talented, dynamic, it was always a pleasure to be in his company. He had an ineffable quality to his personality that inspired Adolph to sculpt him a couple of years ago, though Adolph seems to have passed the sculpting stage of life. Love to you, Susan. Suzanne
Suzanne Rosenblatt
March 4, 2012
We are sadder than I can express!! We loved him dearly. How terrible to lose him so soon. Marty & Maureen Rosenblum
Maureen Rosenblum
March 4, 2012
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