James Martin Kiefer, age 82, passed away at his home in Stevens Point on Sunday, February 28, 2016; one week short of his 83rd birthday.
He was born on March 7, 1933 in Stevens Point, son of John and Anastasia Kiefer.
Jim graduated from PJ Jacobs high school in 1952. He was a 1951 gold glove boxing champion.
Jim was married for 58 loving years to Carol Maureen Philips.
He was employed by Consolidated Papers Inc. for 42 years as a power plant operator, retiring in 1993.
Jim was especially proud of his dedication and service to his country. He enlisted in the Wisconsin Army National Guard in the 120th Field Artillery Battalion in 1949. His duty assignments included serving at Fort Lenard Wood, MO. Fort Chaffee, AK and Fort Lewis, WA. From 1956 through 1957 he was assigned to active duty with the US Army serving in the 607th Field Artillery Battalion of the 71st Division in Fort Richardson, Alaska. Upon release from active duty he rejoined the 120th Field Artillery Battalion as the NCO liaison officer. In September of 1961, Jim as part of the 32nd Infantry Division was ordered to active duty in response to the Berlin Crisis and stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington, serving until August, 1962. Continuing his service with the 120th, he achieved the rank of Master Sergeant in 1965. In 1973 he was assigned as Operations Sargent to the Wisconsin Military Academy, achieving the rank of Command Sargent Major in August of 1976. In February of 1977 Jim was appointed to the position of State Command Sargent Major, the highest non-commissioned officer position in the Wisconsin National Guard. During his tenure as State Command Sargent Major he was instrumental in the development of the noncommissioned officer education program. After 34 years of military service, Jim retired in 1983. His awards and decorations include: three Meritorious Service Medals, Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Award and the Army Reserve Component Achievement Award with two clusters.
Jim was a member of various civil service and veterans organizations; American Legion, Wisconsin Enlisted Association, Association of the US Army, Knights of Columbus, Vietnam Veterans, and La Societe Des 40 Hommes Et 8 Chevauk.
Jim owned and operated a beef farm in the town of Linwood and was a recognized member of the Wisconsin Tree Farmers Association.
He is survived by his wife Carol; his seven children, Sue (Tim) Volland, Tim (Ana) Kiefer, Tom (Ann) Kiefer, Todd (Ann) Kiefer, Kim Kiefer (Charles Royster), Ted (Kathy) Kiefer and Jody (Alan) Mayak; eight grandchildren, Erin, Kelly, Emily, Brianna, Peter, Tyler, Taylor and Robert. He is also survived by his sister, Marge (John) Jones and his brother Richard (Sharon) Kiefer and many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents; his sisters, Madeline (Neil) Fuller and Victoria Kiefer.
Jim loved the outdoors and enjoyed many outings- hunting and fishing with friends and family including fifty years of deer hunting in the north woods area near Fifield. He also actively supported others who had a love for the outdoors. He sponsored the first “disabled hunters” program in Portage County.
A time of visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, 2016 at Boston Funeral Home; with a 7:30 p.m. prayer service. A Funeral Mass will be held 10:30 a.m. on Friday at St Stephen Catholic Church. Visitation will precede the Funeral Mass from 10:00 a.m. to the time of service. Burial will follow in St. Stephen Cemetery with full military honors.
Online condolences may be made at www.bostonfuneralhome.net.
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