James P. Rilling

    James P. Rilling of Port Washington was a self-described “old hippie” who loved classic music and television shows.
    “Every night after work, I found my husband watching television, and the dogs were always next to him watching with him,” Mr. Rilling’s wife Gloria said. “He loved music like Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, and classic TV shows.”
    “Life is too short to waste on bad music,” was something Mr. Rilling often said to family members.
    Mr. Rilling also loved vehicles — cars, bikes and scooters.
    “He loved to ride his bicycle,” his wife said.
    Mr. Rilling died of complications of cancer Friday, Aug. 3, at Aurora Health Center in Grafton. He was 65.
    He was a native of Port Washington, born on May 26, 1953, to Donald “Perch” and Marilyn Gessner Rilling.
    He grew up on Montgomery Street in Port, attended St. Mary’s School and graduated from Port Washington High School in 1971.
    Mr. Rilling married Gloria Trevino in 2015.
    Through the years, Mr. Rilling lived in various parts of Ozaukee County and worked at EST Co. in Grafton as well as Molded Dimensions and Kleen Test Products, both in Port Washington.
    He retired from Kleen Test Products about three years ago.
    “He was a very friendly guy,” his wife said. “He was a happy man who was full of life.”
    Mr. Rilling enjoyed cooking and baking, and he had a cache of recipes that had been handed down from his grandmother to his mother.
    His banana bread was one of those family recipes and garnered praise from everyone who tried it, his wife said. He was also known for his chocolate cake and cheesecakes.
    He would tweak recipes until they came out the way he liked, his wife said.
    “When I married him, I gained 15 pounds,” she said.
    Mr. Rilling also enjoyed fishing and playing cards — especially monthly poker games with his longtime friends.
    His family said a fishing pole, a wrench, some playing cards, his Kindle or the remote control were just some of the things that kept him busy.
    His constant companions were his dogs Penny and Randi.
    Mr. Rilling is survived by his wife Gloria of Port Washington; children Lucas and Tyler, both of Grafton; and stepchildren Daniel Saldana of Green Bay and Sandra Saldana of Port Washington.
    He is further survived by his sisters Karen Conradt of Port Washington, Diane (Don “Diego” Schultz) Rilling of Madison and Suzanne Rilling of Wilmington, N.C.
    Mr. Rilling was preceded in death by his parents, brother Thomas “TJ” Rilling and brother-in-law Doug Conradt.
    A memorial service for Mr. Rilling, who donated his body to science, was to be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, at Poole Funeral Home and Crematory in Port Washington. The Rev. Sid Litke was to officiate.
    Visitation was to be at the funeral home from 4 p.m. until the service.
    Memorials to the Wisconsin Humane Society’s Ozaukee Campus are suggested.



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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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