James Bernard Degnan, 67 of La Crosse died Monday, February 24, 2020 in his home in La Crosse from natural causes. He was born August 23, 1952 in Lake City, Minnesota to John W. and Kathryn M. (Logelin) Degnan.
James was a carpenter and musician, playing trumpet, trombone and flugel horn as well as piano. As a carpenter, he enjoyed continually fixing up his house as well as working on his siblings’ and parents’ homes.
Jim’s passion for music led him to co-found his first band while still in high school; K&D Bootery. The ten piece band included a full brass section, directed by Jim. This band opened for Wayne Cochran, “The White Knight of Soul,” at the Varsity Club. More recently he was in avant-garde artist, Billy Curmano’s New X Art Ensemble, which played experimental music as art performing in Death Valley and even concerts for cows. Jim had also played in a number of La Crosse and Winona bands throughout the years. He enjoyed customizing his horns as well as having unique custom horns made.
Friends remember Jim as very kindhearted, generous and carefree. He was always joking and making light of any situation. He enjoyed taking his older brother, Paul, out for lunch.
He is survived by two sisters, Ruth (Daniel) McIntyre of La Crosse and Barbara (Danny) Leoni of Rosamond, California; two brothers, Paul of West Salem and Jack of La Crosse; and one nephew, Christopher Degnan of Chicago. He is also survived by two uncles, Donald Logelin of La Crosse and Joseph (Helen) Logelin of Pinckney, Mich.; and one aunt, Clarice Bidney of Shoreview, Minn.
James was preceded in death by his parents, John and Kay Degnan of La Crosse, and his favorite cousin, Jean Marie Beyers (Chichanowski) of Winona, Minnesota, who was a gifted singer. Jim and Jeannie played in many bands together throughout the years.
Due to the recent suggestion by the Center for Disease Control with regards to the Covid-19 pandemic, services will be announced at a later date.