Monday, September 26, 2011

James E. Friday

James E. Friday passed away on Monday morning, September 26, 2011, at Wheaton Franciscan Health Center in the presence of his loving family. Jim was born in Stillwater, MN, on  Nov. 12, 1926, the youngest of four children of Carl and Hanna (nee: Thiel) Friday. He graduated from Stillwater High School in 1944 and immediately enlisted in the United States Navy. Jim was assigned as a boiler maker on the USS Wadsworth, a destroyer of the Pacific Fleet.

Following his military service and thanks to the GI Bill, Jim graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in mechanical engineering. For a time, Jim worked in Montreal, Quebec, but frequently came to the states to see family. He would meet his future wife on such a visit to see his brother in New York City. Jim met Patricia (Pat) Miller, a ticket agent for Northwest Airlines. On July 7, 1956, in Milwaukee, WI, Jim and Pat were united in marriage.

The Fridays settled in Racine where Jim was employed for many years as Director of Materials Control for Walker Manufacturing. Jim was an active member of Meadowbrook Country Club for over 50 years. In addition to time spent at Meadowbrook, Jim loved to fish. He took several trips to Canada and Alaska, but spent many summer vacations with his family in Hayward, WI. He was proud of his well-earned nickname "Musky Jim." Upon his retirement, Jim and Pat spent time traveling and wintering in St. Petersburg, Florida. Additionally, Jim enjoyed golf and planning biannual Navy reunions with his Navy shipmates, a tradition he continued until his health prevented travel.

Perhaps Jim's most enjoyable times were spent with his two grandsons, Bobby and Michael Schuessler. Jim was an ardent supporter of The Prairie School who never missed an opportunity to attend his grandsons' academic, athletic and fine arts performances. He was proud beyond words at the fine young men they've become.

Jim's sense of humor, stories, kindness, generosity, and words of wisdom, will be missed by all who knew him.

Jim is survived by his daughter, Nancy (the late Tom) Schuessler, and her sons Bobby and Michael; daughter, Susan (Don) Miller; and special family friends, Cheryl Christensen and Bob Houdek. Jim is further survived by nieces, nephews and friends too numerous to mention individually. He was preceded in death by his wife, Pat; and son-in-law, Tom Schuessler.

A memorial service celebrating Jim's life is scheduled for Saturday, October 8, 2011, at 11 a.m. at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 40 Ohio St., Racine, 53405 with Pastor Melanie Hammond Clark officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial remembrances may be directed to Covenant Presbyterian Church.

Jim's family would like to express sincere gratitude to physicians Richard Clark, MD and Michael Ansani, MD for their very compassionate care.

803 Main St., Racine   (262) 634-7888

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