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James Kohl
1929 - 2021
Cress Funeral & Cremation Service - Middleton University Chapel
6021 University Ave
Madison, WI

Kohl, James Sherman

CROSS PLAINS - James S. Kohl, age 91, entered into heaven on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, at SSM St. Mary's Care Center, after a brave four-year journey with dementia. Jim was born in Madison on Dec. 6, 1929, and was the son of Jennes and Anastacia (Cassidy) Kohl.

Jim was a 1948 graduate of Madison East High School, where he excelled in track and field. In 1950, Jim met the love of his life, Donna Jean Hodgson, on a blind date. They married on Feb. 10, 1951, after Jim was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. He and Donna were stationed at Camp Polk in Louisiana and Fort Sill in Oklahoma. After the war, they returned to Madison where Jim resumed his career at the Wisconsin Telephone Company. They lovingly raised five children near West High School.

During his early years, Jim enjoyed playing for many men's fast pitch championship softball teams. He also enjoyed golf, bowling, pheasant hunting and Canadian fishing trips. He loved sports: the Badgers, the Packers and the Brewers. He worked the daily crossword puzzle and loved word search puzzles. He enjoyed family gatherings.

Jim retired from the Telephone Company in 1986 after 38 years. After retirement, Jim and Donna built their "dream house" on a hill between Middleton and Cross Plains. Their retirement years have been spent entertaining family in their beloved home and traveling to the Northwoods and southwest Florida for vacations with family and friends. They were always present to help anyone who was in need. Four years ago, Jim's health declined. Donna has lovingly cared for Jim in their home throughout his journey.

With heavy hearts we say goodbye to our wonderful husband, dad and grandfather!

He is survived by his beloved wife, Donna; son, Jim (Mary), Park Falls; daughter, Janis Licklider (Gary), Verona; son, Jeff, Appleton; son, John (Susie), Madison; daughter, Jennifer Nichols (Tom), Delafield; 12 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and his brother, John (Reggie), Madison.

He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant daughter; brothers, Jerome and Patrick; his mother- and father-in-law, John and Celia Hodgson; and many brothers- and sisters-in-law.

Our family wishes to thank the staff of SSM St. Mary's Care Center and SSM Hospice for their compassionate care of Jim. A private family service will be held.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance, P.O. Box 32141, New York, NY 10087 or Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.

Please share your memories at

Cress Center

6021 University Ave., Madison

(608) 238-8406

Published by on Nov. 21, 2021.
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Funeral services provided by:
Cress Funeral & Cremation Service - Middleton University Chapel
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