James William Caspers passed away peacefully, Monday, October 24, 2011, at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI, with his family at his side. He was born in Racine on July 18, 1931, son of John Frederick and Phyllis Bertha (Nee: Hohnecker) Caspers.
On May 22, 1954, he married the former Lorraine Marie Dandeneau at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. They were members of Saint Joseph Catholic Parish for over 50 years where he served on the Parish Council for six years. James and Lorraine raised five children who all attended St. Joseph’s School grades 1 through 8, and all graduated from college. He was a devoted family man who, his whole life, enjoyed spending time with his wife Lorraine, his children, many grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Caspers was a world class competitive target archer. He won a record number of Wisconsin State titles. He burst on the world scene in 1958 finishing fourth at the world championships of outdoor target archery in Brussels, Belgium. The following year (1959) in Stockholm, Sweden, he took first place at the same tournament setting all existing world records while becoming only the third American to ever win the title. Following was a parade down Douglas Avenue ending at the lakefront where he was congratulated by then-Racine Mayor Jack Humble. Later that year he was featured on the popular TV game show “To Tell the Truth,” and was featured in Sports Illustrated magazine. He became known among his peers as “the shooting machine” for his deep concentration and meticulous shooting style. Caspers turned professional in 1960 and went on to capture two international indoor titles. Also in the 1960s he was elected as a charter member of the original Racine Athletics Hall of Fame. Caspers appeared at Archery clinics throughout the Midwest for many years, showing spectators how to make bowstrings and displaying his skill. He competed at the state level for many years, winning state titles deep into his forties.
Caspers also competed in football, softball, downhill and cross-country skiing, fishing, sailing, tennis, hunting, trap shooting, fencing, bowling and, his final passion, golf. He owned a sailboat for many years and is a 30-year member of the Racine Yacht Club. Over the years, he was also an active member of the Racine Archers, the Kenosha Bowmen, the Racine Snomads Ski Club, the Wisconsin’s Sportsman’s Club, and played in the Ive’s Grove Monday Senior Golf League. Caspers enjoyed playing these sports with his many children and grandchildren, including archery in his basement, golf at Shoop Park on Fridays, and hunting and fishing all over Wisconsin.
Caspers is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Lorraine Caspers; children, Jane Smith of Racine, John (Lisa) Caspers of Racine, Justine (Patrick) Brady of Sun Prairie, WI, James (Kamala) Caspers of Wauwatosa, WI, Jason (Natalie) Caspers of Racine; grandchildren, Jesse (Allison) Smith, Brandon Smith, Kara (Dan) Seiders, Alex, Jacob and Nathan Giever, Emily, Zebulon, Zipporah, Faith, Daniel, Julianna, Grace and Noah Caspers; step-grandchildren, John, Tom and Paul Brady, and Jacqueline and Justine Gerardo; great-grandchildren, Austin and Ashley Seiders; brother, William (Jean) Caspers of Burnsville, MN; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Marcel (Shirley) Dandeneau, Lucille Hrpcek, Judy Dandeneau, Albert Dandeneau, Lois (David) Richter; many nieces and nephews, other relatives and dear friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; son-in-law, Michael Giever; and brother-in-law, Denis Dandeneau.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, October 28, 2011, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 1533 Erie St., with Rev. Sean Granger officiating. Entombment will follow at Holy Cross Garden Mausoleum, Hwy 32. Relatives and friends may meet with the family Thursday at the funeral home from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. and Friday at the church from 10 a.m. until time of Mass at 10:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church have been suggested by the family.
MARESH-MEREDITH & ACKLAM FUNERAL HOME
803 Main St., Racine (262) 634-7888