James “Jimmy” Francis Tasson was born on Thursday, May 5, 1983 in Ishpeming, MI. His parents, Eugene and Mary Tasson, eagerly welcomed him alongside family physician Dr. James Tobin, who proudly exclaimed, “Welcome to the world James Francis!” Jimmy died on Tuesday, December 28, 2021 in the loving arms of his wife and best friend, Nikki, and in the company of his most dear friends. He was 38 years old.
Jimmy’s childhood was full of adventure and fun! He enjoyed living in an area that provided excellent access to tree forts, any outdoor adventure, little league, and neighborhood kick ball. Tagging along after his big brother Bob and cousin Tony was a constant as he grew. Visits from cousin Nash were always an extra bonus to Jimmy; the two would joke around with family and enjoy their visits together. Deer camp was a great outlet for Jimmy! He loved to play cards and hang out with his family and friends each November. Jimmy also found a passion for gun restoration and collecting at a young age. His dad, Gene, would teach him about gun safety. Gun shows and collecting turned into a hobby for Gene, Bob, and Jimmy to enjoy together for years to come.
Jimmy was a member of the chess club, high school bowl and BPA during his high school years. He had a natural ability to retain knowledge quickly and accurately. When Jimmy was not at school or hanging out with friends, he worked at Jim’s Auto Wash off of Hwy 41. The owner, Jim Bonovich, and Jimmy became close friends. His time at the car wash was priceless and he would reference funny stories about his time spent there for the rest of his life. Many locals in the Ishpeming area would recognize Jimmy by his excellent drumming skills that entertained many at athletic events held at Westwood High School. He graduated with honors in 2001. While in college Jimmy played in a band and continued his talent as an adult, entertaining his wife and children on weekends.
Jimmy attended Michigan Technological University for one year before transferring to Northern Michigan University where he graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems. While in college, Jimmy enjoyed playing EQ, an online game with people from all over the world. A fellow EQ player said of Jimmy: “Jim was always really helpful and always willing to step up to help out the team, fill important jobs and roles, and even stick around after we were finished to make sure nobody got left behind. He was a great person and someone you could always count on.”
The beginning of college life wasn’t a smooth transition for Jimmy. He was on dialysis for 13 months which made it difficult to gather energy to study, etc. 2001-2002 was difficult due to kidney failure that led to hemodialysis, but also a hopeful and uplifting year as Jimmy both met the love of his life and received a kidney transplant all within months of each other. The young man who died in turn gave Jimmy life, and would be forever remembered by our family. The gift of life would ultimately lead to the beautiful, yet simple life that he loved and appreciated every day.
Everything that was to come in Jimmy’s life after the gift of organ transplantation was special and stemmed from a perspective that life is fragile. Jimmy married the love of his life, Nikki Gugin, whom he affectionately called “her,” on September 20, 2008. Jimmy and Nikki were side by side for 19 years, married for 13 of those years. Shortly after their wedding, the couple moved to Appleton, WI where they purchased their home and started their beautiful family. Jim worked for 11 plus years at Plexus Corp in Neenah, WI as an IT Infrastructure Converged Team Lead. His expertise and dedication to his employer and co-workers was that of a true professional. He would drop anything to help others out and to fix any problem that would arise, day or night. He will be greatly missed by those who worked closely with him world-wide, and is not only irreplaceable in the position that he held, but as a true friend to the Plexus family.
Out of all his accomplishments in life, Jimmy’s wife and 5 children were his life’s devotion and purpose. He was such an affectionate and involved husband and father to his wife and children. He was so proud to remodel his basement from the ground up for his family, also recently installing their family pool and deck to enjoy. Jimmy always put aside his needs for Nikki and the kids. It was his honor and joy to love them deeply and to tell them how much he loved them, every day. In return, Jimmy was loved beyond measure his entire life, first by his parents and big brother Bob, and then together with his wife Nikki and their children. Love and hugs were a constant in his world. Together, we all had fun laughing, joking around, making funny skits as a family. A simple life rich in love.
Nikki and Jimmy were a great team in caring for their children and in keeping each other supported through life’s hard times. Marriage comes with great sacrifice and lessons. Jim and Nikki were able to persevere through some of the hardest of times in life. After the death of their son, Angelo, Jim and Nikki’s bond and love for one another grew even stronger. Very few are able to say they have found a deep connection and love so strong and true in this lifetime. Nineteen plus years together isn’t nearly enough.
Jimmy is survived by his loving wife, Nikki (Gugin), daughter’s Gianna (11), Bianca (3), Capri (6 months), and son Calvin (8), all of Appleton, WI. He will be greatly missed by his parents, Eugene and Mary Tasson (Valente) of Ishpeming, MI; mother-in-law Nancy Gugin and father-in-law Danny Gugin, both of Little Chute, WI; brother Robert (Dana) Tasson of Ishpeming, MI; brother-in-law, Michael (Kayla) Gugin of Hannawa Falls, NY; niece, Marisa and her son Jaxon (Aaron) Corkin of Ishpeming, MI; nephew Dylan (fiancé Kate Etelamaki) Tasson of Big Rapids, MI. Gram Julaine Ombrello will also miss Jimmy and his sweet nature, along with several aunts, uncles and cousins.
Jimmy is preceded in death by his son, Angelo Vincent Tasson. Angelo was a gift to us all. He helped us recognize the world as it is and to take on grief as it comes to us. Feelings and emotions demand to be seen and felt. Grief stems from great love. Angelo helped us prepare for the future; a future that would lead his daddy to him just 5 short years after he left earth. Jimmy was further preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Frank and Cecelia Valente, paternal grandparents, Bruno and Frances Tasson, and infant brother, Louie Tasson, and many other important family members along the way.
A memorial visitation will take place Sunday, May 15 from 10 AM - 12 PM at Wichmann Funeral Home Tri-County Chapel, 1592 Oneida St, Menasha, WI 54952 with a service following at 12 PM lead by Pastor Dennis Episcopo.
“When you died my heart broke into a million pieces and was scattered amongst the stars. But deep down, I know, we will meet again and the pieces of our love will be put back together.”-Mark Lemon. “I love you Jimmy. I have always loved you, and it has been an honor to walk beside you in our life together. I would rather my time with you, although short to earthly time, than to sit 100 years with a soul that does not complete who I am. I will carry and honor your memory here on earth and care for our 4 children, while you care for our Angelo, wherever you are. We are still a team. I love you, my him.”-Her
“I love you daddy! We will be ok and try hard to make you proud of us while you rest. We will help mommy. We love you forever.” -Gia