James R. Stephans Sr., USAF retired, age 86, of Holmen passed away at his home on August 23, 2012.Â Jim graduated from Logan High School in 1944 and enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1945 as a gunnery/radio operator in the European Theatre.Â He was shot down over Italy in 1945 and was honorably discharged with two bronze battle stars in 1946.Â He re-enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served from 1948-1972.Â Jim graduated with a BS degree from Arizona State University in 1977 with Phi Beta Kappa honors. Â His family returned to La Crosse where he worked for Social Services at La Crosse County for many years until his retirement.Â
He is survived by his wife Velma and children; Gary Stephans, Georgia Shilling, James R. Stephans Jr., Christina Kiemel and Rene Stephans; eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.Â He is also survived by his brothers Clark Stephans and Charlie Stephans and sisters Grace Brown and Marie S. Cram.
He was preceded in death by his parents Joseph Stephans and Grace (Teasdale) Stephans; brothers Joseph Stephans and Robert Stephans; sisters Delores Terpstra, Ilene Stephans and Lucille Stephans.
Funeral services will be held Friday, August 31, 2012, at 12:30 p.m. at the Blaschke & Schneider Funeral Home, 1501 West Ave. S., La Crosse, WI.Â Burial with full military honors will follow at Mormon Coulee Memorial Park Cemetery.Â Family and friends may call at the funeral home on Friday from 11:00 a.m. until time of services.
Online condolences may be made at www.blaschkeschneider.com.