James Jones

James Albert Jones passed away at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, after a short, dignified bout with cancer.

He was born in Mauston, Wis. on Aug. 21, 1945 to Maynard “Bill” and Ellen (Kimball) Jones.

Jim was a hard worker all of his life, who tried his hand at numerous trades and professions including teaching, insurance sales and wooden jewelry box making. He owned a meat processing plant in Wyoming in the 1980s, worked at refrigerator repair in Idaho in the 1990s and most recently worked seven days a week as an inspector at Chart Energy and Chemical in La Crosse.

Jim loved to cook and attended culinary school several years before his death. He excelled in all of his courses and finished his program with a 4.0 GPA. This led to times spent working as a cook at Camp Winnebago in Caledonia, Minn. as well as at Fort McCoy, which he truly loved.

Jim was known for his quick wit and sense of humor, his love of cooking, baking and crossword puzzles, his hat collection, and, in his earlier days, his keen ability as a hunter and fisherman, skills he always retained.

Born and raised in Wisconsin, Jim spent much of his adult life in Saskatchewan, Canada, where his oldest daughter was born, and also Wyoming, Idaho, and, finally, Minnesota, where he was living at the end of his life. He will be remembered for the unique life he lived, which was full of varied careers and many different types of people and experiences, and the stories he loved to tell about the times that meant most to him. He died peacefully and well-cared for, surrounded by all four of his children.

He is survived by his sons, James Jones and Joel Jones, both of La Crosse; his daughters, Julia Jones, Brownsville, Minn. and Andrea Jones. Vancouver, B.C.; and his companion, Patricia Haskey, La Crosse.

He was preceded in death by his brothers, John and Joel and his parents.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 5:30 p.m., at Christ Episcopal Church, 831 Main St., La Crosse.  Rev. Patrick Augustine will officiate. Friends may call at the church on Saturday from 4:30 p.m. until the time of service.  In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred and will be used in his memory to establish an educational fund for his youngest daughter, Julia. Schumacher-Kish Funeral and Cremation Services of La Crosse is assisting the family with arrangements.  Online condolences may be submitted at www.schumacher-kish.com.

It was Jim’s wish that his memorial service be a true celebration and wanted those attending to wear bright, fun clothing.