James (Jim) Patrick Kennedy, 65, of Horicon, Wisconsin passed away on March 23 peacefully surrounded by his children. He was born November 21, 1955 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Alvin and Theresia. He married Diane Jean Fehrman, in May of 1980 and had four children.
Jim graduated from Waukesha South Campus in 1974 and went on to follow in his father’s footsteps of becoming a mason. He worked as a mason for 45 years and started his own business in 1991. He always included his kids in his trade and would bring his kids to the jobsite. His sons worked for him at a young age and helped him keep his business afloat as he battled a chronic disease. Both of his sons carry on his legacy and are masons themselves. Jim was a hard-working man and instilled this work ethic into his children.
He LOVED to deer hunt and fish. When his kids were young, he bought a Lund boat and took the family on fishing trips to the Willow Flowage where we would stay at the Reel’Em Inn. When we didn’t stay at the Reel’Em we would tent it at different campgrounds. He always made sure we took vacations up north even when money was tight. Deer hunting was a national holiday for him and he wouldn’t miss it for the world. He would take all of his kids’ deer hunting when they were old enough to hunt and the tradition is being handed down to his grandchildren.
Jim was a John Wayne fan and loved himself a good western. If he turned the tv on it was either going to be a western, the Packers, Brewers or Racing. We all grew up watching Westerns with our dad.
He would play Santa at every Christmas and drive all of us nuts taking forever to hand out presents. He had a big heart and was very generous; he went all out for Christmas and made it extra special every year.
Jim was a dog lover to the end; he had many dogs throughout his life. He leaves his beloved English cocker named Lady behind, but don’t worry dad we will take good care of her; she is in good hands.
He had a go big or go home mentality; when he made food, he would make enough for a small army and if he started a garden it had to be at least an acre. He loved to cook and try new things; he once made a cherry dessert with rice when we were kids and it did not get good reviews and he never lived it down! Majority of the time his food was amazing and he was always a phone call away when you had a question about cooking. On Sundays, he would have a pot of chili on the stove or a chicken in the oven and the house would smell amazing. He knew his way around a kitchen and grill! You would never starve when you were around Jim! He loved a good sale flyer and would text or call his kids to tell them what was on sale that week at Piggly Wiggly, Recheck’s or Pick’n’Save.
Jim took fashion cues from no one and you would most likely see him in jeans, work boots, t-shirt and flannel shirt, camo baseball cap with a Camel cigarette hanging out of his mouth. It took many years but he would finally wear sweatpants around the house after work or on the weekends. I don’t think his legs every saw daylight.
Jim is survived by daughter and son in law Nichol and Calvin Stratman, son and girlfriend Colton Kennedy and Jenny Bowen, son and daughter in law Kyle and Jessica Kennedy, daughter and future son in law Katie Kennedy and Andy Pater. Grandchildren, Bobbie Stratman, Elliot Stratman, Maverick Stratman, Ryker Stratman, Hawkens Stratman, Sage Evje, Emrey Kennedy, Paxton Kennedy, Matryk Kennedy, Kyryk Kennedy, Braxxly Kennedy, Varyk Kennedy, Julia Ostermann, Lillian Ostermann, and Hunter Braaksma, ex-wife Diane Kennedy, his sister and husband Loretta and Ron Harvestine, and sister Terry Carter. He had many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, Alvin and Theresia Kennedy, brother William Kennedy, and niece Megan Lukas.
Pabst Blue Ribbon and Mr. Boston companies are devasted by the loss of Jim Kennedy. A “Celebration of Life” will be held at Milford Hills in Johnson Creek on Sunday, April 25th from 1pm-5pm. Come have a beer and cheers to Jim.