Former Kaukauna resident James Reichel, age 80, passed away on January 24, 2020. He was born in Kaukauna on January 30, 1939. When he was only four years old, his parents built a home on Beaulieu Hill in Kaukauna, where he lived his entire life – until January of 2019. He made many warm memories in that home. His parents were known to always have parties there; it was also the place where the family gathered for holidays and birthdays – which he enjoyed greatly. Getting together with his close friends and family was something Jim looked forward to as well. He also enjoyed the many flower and vegetable gardens that grew around the house.
For his entire life, he enjoyed many hobbies, including fishing, hunting, playing golf, and downhill skiing. He always had his faithful hunting dogs to keep him company over the years. He had a little cabin in the northwoods of Wisconsin where he spent his vacations.
Jim graduated from the Milwaukee School of Engineering in 1963, where he began his engineering career that carried him through life. He worked most of those years at Giddings and Lewis. Jim remembered saving his pennies as a child so he could put himself through college. Jim continued to be a saver, who also had a heart for giving toward good causes in the world, such as St. Jude Children’s Hospital and local causes like Thousand Islands Environmental Center. He was a devout member of St. Katharine Drexel (St. Mary’s) Parish in Kaukauna and looked forward to going to mass each week. When he wasn’t working, traveling, or busy with his hobbies, Jim enjoyed nights at home watching Packers and Brewers games. He was also a big fan of professional golfing.
Jim is survived by his brother and sisters: Dan (Bonnie) Reichel, Janice Agent, Jackie Look, and Betty (Steve) Mereness. Other survivors include nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews too numerous to mention. He will also be missed by his close cousins like Ed “Cud” Jansen and Lori Evers, and friends like Kenny Sanders and Dave Linskens, and his dog Maxi who he loved so much. He was preceded in death by his faithful parents Cyril and Julia Reichel, a brother-in-law Gary Look, and his best friend, whom he lovingly called “Bones”.
Jim will be sorely missed by a big and fun family who loved his kindness, his wisdom, and his generosity.
The funeral liturgy for Jim will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, February 1, 2020, at St. Katharine Drexel Parish – St. Mary’s Church, which is located at 119 W. 7th Street in Kaukauna. Family and friends are invited to gather at the church on Saturday morning from 9:00 AM until the time of the service. Burial will be at St. Mary Cemetery at a later date.
The family would like to offer their special thanks to everyone at Touchmark Viceroy and to Heartland Hospice. We will never forget your kindness.