James Louis Scherer, son of Elmer and June Scherer of Racine, WI, passed away on September 3, 2021, at home, surrounded by his family. He bravely battled myelodysplastic syndrome for a few years, which progressed into acute myeloid leukemia in the Spring of 2021. Jim fought hard and was able to spend a beautiful summer with his family enjoying family dinners, multiple camping trips, and fishing excursions. Near the end of the summer, cancer began to take a firmer hold. His family is thankful for the extra time and memories of this past summer and grateful that his suffering was not prolonged. The family sends its heartfelt thanks to Dr. H. Marshall Matthews and all at the Matthews Oncology Associates for the very personal care they provided to Jim and his wife of 32 years, Pat. An additional heartfelt thanks to Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice for support on Jim’s final day.
Jim was born in Chicago, IL, and grew up in Racine, WI, where he moved with his parents and sister, Joan. He attended high school in Racine and continued his education at UW-Parkside and UW-Milwaukee, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology. As a young man, he proudly served our country in the United States Coast Guard.
Although his schooling, service, and career journey took him to many places, he always returned to his home, Camp Anokijig. From the first week he spent at Anokijig as a 7-year-old camper, he knew Anokijig as the place his heart and soul belonged. In 1985, after years of being a camper and summer staff member – doing dishes in the camp kitchen, wrangling horses, and acting as Horsemanship Director – and countless hours of volunteering at camp, he took on the job of being the Executive Director at Camp Anokijig. When Jim signed on, the camp was in debt and falling apart, but within a year, he had the camp back on its feet and continued to bring new improvements to facilities and programs every season. Anokijig’s growth and impact on so many has yet to slow down. Anokijig instilled in Jim the values and drive to serve others, and he did just that, impacting hundreds of thousands of lives over the years.
Even after retirement, Jim continued to support his community by donating countless original wood burned art pieces to support Anokijig’s scholarship fund, volunteering his time as a member of New Life Community Church and using his talents to earn grants to support the church in a time of need, and more.
Jim’s family was the only thing more important to him than Camp Anokijig. The time spent with his wife, Pat Connors-Scherer, and three daughters, Allison Scherer, Hannah Wisman (Cody Wisman), and Cailin Scherer (Sam Rossmiller) was and will continue to be, an incredibly cherished part of all of their lives. Countless laughs, songs, and jokes were had around the dinner table, on camping trips in Peninsula State Park, and (of course) at Camp Anokijig. As the years passed and his family grew, he took on the new titles of father-in-law to Cody Wisman, and grandpa (or Buppa Jim, as he was known to his granddaughter, Georgie Wisman). Jim loved being an Uncle to many nieces and a nephew, and an honorary Uncle to his longtime friends’ children. He embraced all of his roles with love and passion, sprinkled with a twinkle of mischief and a whip-fast wit. Jim joins his daughter, Elizabeth Mary Scherer, his mother, June Stolle Scherer, father, Elmer Scherer, sister, Joan Scherer Nelson (Wayne Nelson), and many other friends and family in heaven.
A celebration of Jim’s life will be held on SEPTEMBER 26, 2021 (Sunday) at Camp Anokijig. There will be time to visit from 10 a.m. to Noon, a spiritual service with Pastor Aaron Martel at Noon, and military rites being conducted by the Plymouth VFW World Cheese Center Post 5612, followed by a luncheon. All are welcome to join his family in remembering the father, mentor, and man that he was. In respect for those living through this pandemic with compromised immune systems, as Jim had to do, the family is requesting that all people in attendance are either vaccinated or wear a mask to protect those who cannot protect themselves. The visitation, ceremony, and lunch will take place outside under a large canopy.
During his time as Executive Director, Jim created a scholarship (campership) fund for children who couldn’t otherwise afford a week at camp. His policy was that cost would never get in the way of a camper being able to experience the joy and positive growth of attending a week at camp. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made in Jim’s name to Camp Anokijig. The donations will go to the campership fund and to other needs of the Camp.
Jim was a larger-than-life individual, and he will be greatly missed by family and friends. In Jim’s words, as he ended many Anokijig newsletters, “…as always, sit back, imagine yourself around the campfire, and catch the spirit.”
The Suchon Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Plymouth is serving the family. For online condolences, please visit www.suchonfh.com.