Jim Kriefski, age 68, passed away unexpectedly at Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah, Wisconsin on Saturday, July 7, 2012. Jim was born in Washington D.C. on September 28, 1943, son of the late Eugene and Alma (Zaucha) Kriefski. Upon graduating from Bladensburg high school in Maryland, Jim, like his father before him, joined the U.S. Military. He served his country in the United States Air Force, ultimately reaching the rank of Staff Sergeant. In all, he served nearly five years, including an assignment with Strategic Air Command, where he helped scramble air defenses during the Kennedy assassination. Jim left the Air Force with a medical discharge after a truck accident left him unable to continue. After the military, Jim went back to school and earned a degree in computer programming. On May 28, 1966, he married the former Sandy Jessup in Sacramento, California. Jim's professional career began as a computer programmer. Through hard work and personal determination, he propelled himself through the titles of Senior Programmer, Systems Analyst and ultimately to that of Director of Information Systems. His most recent employers included the City of Neenah, Outagamie County, and Rock County – from which he retired in 2001.
Outside of work, Jim enjoyed spending time with his family most of all. Jim, who lived in Montana during his Air Force duty, loved the outdoors. He and his wife Sandy often took their kids camping and to the family cottage where he taught them to fish and hunt. Later in life, he and Sandy often vacationed in Door County as they both enjoyed its peace and beauty. Jim was also a skilled handyman and woodworker. He enjoyed building custom furniture and cabinets for friends and family and was always generous with his time and skills, always offering to help others with their projects. Most of all, however, Jim loved the time spent with his grandchildren as they meant the world to him.
Jim is survived by his wife: Sandy Kriefski of Appleton; three children: Mike (Teri) Kriefski of Madison and their daughter Ally; Ken Kriefski of New Lenox, Illinois; and Mindy (Matt) Goudy of Frankfort, Illinois and their children Riley, Nolan, Caelen, and Madigan; a brother: Ronald Kriefski; and five brothers-in-law: Wayne (Janet) Jessup of West Bend; Donald (Betty) Jessup of Poynette; Patrick Jessup of Cudahy; Jim (Kay) Jessup of Arizona; and John (Judy) Jessup of Cudahy. Jim was preceded in death by his parents and a sister-in-law Carol (Ned) Hardenbrook.
A memorial service for Jim will be held at 2:00 PM on Friday, July 13, 2012 at ST. BERNADETTE CATHOLIC CHURCH, 2331 E. Lourdes Drive in Appleton, with Fr. Andrew Kurz officiating. Friends may call directly at the church on Friday afternoon from 1:00 PM until the time of the service. Online condolences may be offered at www.wichmannfargo.com .
In lieu of flowers the family requests, on Jim's behalf, that you please make a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project (woundedwarriorproject.org) or another charity of your choosing.