MADISON –James Allen Essie, age 86, of Madison, died on Saturday, March 15, 2014, at the Agrace HospiceCare in Fitchburg.
He was born in Madison on August 4, 1927, the son of the late George and Teckla (Sigurslid) Essie. During the early years of the Depression, his family moved to Windsor. Jim attended the Windsor Grade School and graduated from the DeForest High School in 1945. He was drafted into the U.S. Army where he served as an MP in Rome, Italy. Jim transferred into the Special Services and played on the Mediterranean Theater Army football team. Upon returning home, he attended the Madison Business College under the GI Bill.
On July 26, 1952, he married Carol Dowd. They had two children, Patrick Allen and Cynthia Joan. Jim worked as a bookkeeper for the four Clark's Clothier stores in Madison, Northwestern Construction Company, Middleton, and C. P.& A. Asphalt Paving, Madison. In 1975, he moved to Denver, Colo., to start his own asphalt company, Custom Asphalt and Sealing. After retirement, he moved back to the DeForest/Madison area.
Jim followed all high school and college sports. He especially enjoyed home talent baseball which he participated in for eight years. He helped form the Windsor home talent team with other returning veterans. He also enjoyed attending Brewer games, playing a competitive game of cribbage and visiting his neighbors. Jim was proud to be Norwegian; and in his early retirement years, he looked forward to baking lefsa with the church ladies. A highlight of his later life was being able to participate in the Badger Honor Flight on Oct. 8, 2011. Jim was a member of the Lakeview Lutheran Church, Madison, VFW Post 8483 and the Madison Elks Lodge No. 410.
He is survived by his son, Patrick of Madison and daughter, Cindy (Jim) Bowen of McFarland; four grandchildren, Ben Bowen, US Navy, Emily Bowen, Charles Essie and Joseph Essie, all of Madison; and a sister, Judy (Paul) Moriarty of Madison. Jim was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Arnold; and his companion of 12 years, Loise Roberts.
Funeral services will be held at LAKEVIEW LUTHERAN CHURCH, 4001 Mandrake Rd., Madison, at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 with Pastor Dean Kirst officiating. Burial will be at Norway Grove Cemetery. Friends may call at the church on Wednesday from 10 a.m. until the time of the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Badger Honor Flight or Agrace HospiceCare in Fitchburg.
Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.