James Bourgeois Jr.

James E. “ Jim” Bourgeois Jr. of Fredonia was called home after his tremendous fight with pancreatic cancer on Friday, June 17, 2022.

He was born in Whitefish Bay to James and Eleanor (Miller) Bourgeois on Oct. 1, 1957.

He married Colleen Dady in 1986 and together they had two children.

From an early age, Jim found much joy in spending time outdoors. One afternoon in winter as a young boy, he and his father built a snow fort. Jim insisted that he was going to sleep in it that night, and he persisted until his parents told him he needed to come in for the night.

Boy Scouts played an important role in Jim’s character, skills and passion for the outdoors. His Scouting experience began in 1965 when he joined Cub Scout Pack 400 in Milwaukee, Wis., at the age of 11.

In 1972, Jim’s family moved to Smithfield, N.C., where he served in Troop 660. He earned 23 merit badges and served as senior patrol leader, as well as many other roles within the troop. He was a member of the Order of the Arrow. He holds two 50-miler Afoot, Afloat Awards earned while participating in canoe trips in the Boundary Waters of Canada and mountain climbing in the Gore Range of Colorado.

When Jim was 16 years old, he received his Eagle Scout award, Scouting’s highest rank.

Also in North Carolina, Jim completed three years of the Naval Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps and received a Distinguished Cadet Award as a member of the drill team. With this team, he participated in tournaments and won top national awards.

He worked in tobacco fields from early in the morning to late afternoon, spent time building apartments and free time with his sister and friends building forts and playing in the outdoors.

He graduated from Selma Senior High School in 1976 and proceeded in his schooling to attend technical schools, graduating with certificates in heavy equipment operation and diesel vehicle maintenance.

Jim moved back to Wisconsin and settled in Cedarburg in 1978. Over the next years, he worked at an apple orchard, Neuens Lumber Co. in Fredonia and Orly Co. Inc. in Cedarburg, where he retired in 2018.

Jim also served on the Fredonia Fire Department for 11 years and received Firefighter of the Year awards in three separate years.

Jim enjoyed gardening and growing fruit trees in his back yard and used the bounty to make homemade wines.

His other activities included climbing and cutting trees, camping at Long Lake at Mr. Ed’s Campground in Campbellsport and deer hunting around the area and in Michigan.

It was well known by his friends and family that if there was a job to do or someone who needed help, he would be right over.

He traveled to Bradenton, Fla., with his father twice a year in April and December for many recent years to go fishing in Sarasota Bay.

Jim had a 1924 Ford Model T that he spent time with his family driving in parades, showing at car shows and even driving it in the Milwaukee Circus Parade several times.

James is survived by his devoted wife Colleen; his children Sarah (Jacob) Grassel of Auburndale, Wis., and James III Bourgeois of Fredonia; best friend Macy (his golden retriever); and grandchildren Calli, Trace, Dixie and Camille Grassel and James IV Bourgeois.

He is further survived by his father James Bourgeois Sr. of Cedarburg and his sister Debra Bourgeois of Lake Elmo, Minn.

He was preceded in death by his mother Eleanor and his mother and father-in-law Jim and Janet Dady.

A Liturgy of the Word will be held at 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 23, 2022, at Divine Savior Catholic Parish, Holy Cross Chapel, 5330 County Rd. B, Belgium, Wis. The family will receive visitors at the church from 3 p.m. until the service.

In lieu of flowers, donations will be accepted and used to set up a memorial tribute for Jim Bourgeois.

Eernisse Funeral Home of Port Washington is assisting the family with arrangements.

Online condolences may be left at www.eernissefuneralhome.com.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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