On Feb. 10, 1945, he was united in marriage to Arleen L. Barber. They celebrated 61 years of marriage, in the presence of devoted family and friends. A veteran of WWII, Jim served in the Army Air Corps as a fighter pilot instructor, specializing in P-47s. Jim was a lifelong member of St. Edward Parish. He served as the first president of the Home and School Association, helped organize the Athletic Association and the Endowment Fund, was a charter member of the St. Vincent de Paul Chapter, member of the Holy Name Society, Knights of Columbus, and the church choir.
Jim is an alumnus of the University of Wisconsin- Madison, School of Engineering, with a degree in Metallurgical Engineering. He worked for Harris Metal Heat Treating and then Acme Die Casting. He was President of Acme Die from 1969 until he resigned in 1973 to operate his own manufacturing representative business until his retirement in 1986.
Jim was an active volunteer in many community endeavors. Some examples: He was an original member of the Racine Dairy Statesmen and the Society for the Preservation of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America. He was an original member of the Racine Dairy Statesmen and the . He proudly sang with The Church Singers. In 1971, he was recognized as Barber-shopper of the Year. He long served in the Kiwanis Club of Greater Racine and is one of the engineers who designed and built the pancake machines which roll out every year on Pancake Day. He was on the Board of Directors of St. Monica’s Senior Home and was the Racine County Chairman of the Archbishop’s Fund Appeal.
An avid golfer and fisherman, Jim and Arleen enjoyed many cherished years in retirement including winters in Arizona. He is a member of the “Hole In One” club. He wishes the plaque documenting his hole in one be buried with him. After Arleen’s death, Jim joined fellow widowers known as “The Lost and Found Club” to enjoy fine dining around Racine and sharing stories of life’s adventures.
Jim is preceded in death by his loving wife, Arleen, his daughter, Sue Ellen Simanek, and sister, Virginia (Ray) Bayer. He took great comfort and love for his six children, 16 grandchildren, and 7 great-grandchildren. Survivors include his children, John (Peggy) Jude of Racine, James (Shari) Jude of Anaheim, CA, Mary (Stephen) Dodds of Denver, CO., Paul (Angela) Jude of Racine, Kevin (Sally) Jude of Hartford, WI. He is also survived by his buddy in life, L. Robert Peterson.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday at St. Edward Catholic Church, 1401 Grove Ave., Racine, with the Rev. Allen Bratkowski officiating. Visitation will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the church with the Mass at 11 a.m. Entombment with full military honors will follow at Holy Cross Garden Mausoleum. In lieu of flowers and in Jim’s memory, donations are suggested to St Edward Endowment Fund, the Racine Sisters of St. Dominic Ministries, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, or a charity of your choice.
A very special thank you to the caregivers at Ridgewood Care Center for their loving and compassionate care. The caregivers affectionately dubbed him, “Gentleman James”.