James “Jim” E. Schurk, age 91, of Neshkoro, passed away on Monday, December 14, 2020 at home with his family by his side. He was born on May 19, 1929 in Chicago, IL. He was the first born child to John and Marie (Rogers) Schurk. Family was very important to him and as young man, his father developed Parkinson’s disease so along with finishing school, he acquired a job to help his mother out with family expenses. Jim was drafted into the U.S. Army and was sent overseas during the Korean Conflict. Before being sent, he met the love of his life and they united in marriage on one of his leaves from the Army. Once Jim returned stateside, Jim and LuAnne settled in Norridge, IL, (a suburb of Chicago) setting down roots and starting a family. Over the period of 11 years, they had seven children. He wanted to be a good provider for his family so along with working full time; he went to a trade school to become an electrician. He became a union worker as a commercial/industrial electrician, traveling into Chicago every day. In the early 70’s, Jim and Lu and family became acquainted with the rural Wisconsin and fell in love with the small town, country way of life. In 1973, he took a “leap of faith” and decided it was time to move his family to central Wisconsin. Jim and Lu purchased an 80 acre farm on the outskirts of Neshkoro. Once the family settled in, Jim started his own company, Schurk Electric. It was a slow start for the company but over the years, he became a well-known electrician within the area and was able to have the pleasure of having a few of his children work with him throughout the years. Being a very social person, he made friends easily. He also considered a lot of his customers friends as well. He was active in the community. He was a charter member of the Neshkoro Lions Club, holding every office available in the club over the years, sometimes holding the office numerous times. He was the recipient of the “Melvin Jones Award” in honor of his service to the club. Once he retired, he became a transporter for the Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin, transporting eyes to the Madison area. He also belonged to the American Legion and VFW organizations being an active member in both. He made sure to participate in all of the local parades the military groups marched in and visited the local school for Veteran’s Day. It was very important to him to help out with military funerals to give those who fought for our country’s freedom, a proper sendoff and was able to do that up until a year or two ago. Along with other members of the VFW, they would set a date on a regular basis to visit King Veteran’s Home, purchase lunch for the residents and play bingo. He was also a member of the “Cooties”, considered and elite group of veterans. They helped others out but they also made time for fun. Jim enjoyed the outdoors, hunting and fishing. With living in the country, it was convenient to be able to walk out to his woods for deer hunting and he took regular fishing trips Up North with his boys and grandsons. He was a devoted member of St. James Catholic Church of Neshkoro and served as an usher in his younger years.
Jim was a very proud family man and loved any time with them. Always a smile on his face and a glimmer in his eye when his family was around. In 2018, after 67 years of marriage, Lu left for eternal life. Life was never the same without his Lu by his side but he was lucky to have his children there to help him adjust to this “life change”.
Jim will be deeply missed by his children: Susan (Tom) Murphy, James (Sue) Schurk, Carol (Bruce) Girdauskas, Thomas (Rose Knaup) Schurk, Nancy Iding, Lyn (Paul Kornaus) Jones; 11 grandchildren; 14 great grandchildren; one sister: Marie Mueller; two sisters-in-law: Mary Schmehl, Lynn Miller; nieces, nephews other relatives and numerous friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife and son: John Schurk.
A private family Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. James Catholic Church in Neshkoro. Burial and military honors will follow in the parish cemetery. The family will have a celebration of life gathering at a later date for relatives and friends.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Neshkoro Lions Club, Neshkoro VFW Post 10892 or American Legion Post 423.