Dr. James J. Beier passed away quietly at home on Thursday, January 6th 2011 after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 66 years old.
He is survived by his wife, Judith; his three children, James (Heather) of Greenfield, Sara of Milwaukee, and Peter of Mosinee; his sister, Barbara (Joe) Schallmoser of Denver; his mother, Catherine, also of Denver; and his granddaughter, Eva.
Jim was raised in Lombard, Illinois, and attended St. Francis High School in Wheaton. In 1966, he received his Bachelor of Science from St. Mary's University of Winona, Minnesota, where he met his future wife, Judy. They were married in May, 1969 in her hometown of Wausau. He attended medical school at the University of Illinois - Chicago, where he took a Navy scholarship, graduating in 1970. His first son, James John II, was born in Chicago that December. Jim completed his surgical internship at R&E Hospital in Chicago in 1971.
From 1971 to 1979 Jim and Judy lived and traveled throughout the United States and Europe fulfilling his active duty Navy obligation. His first duty station in 1971 was as medical officer for Destroyer Squadron 12 in Newport, Rhode Island. The squadron was moved in the summer of 1972 to Athens, Greece. His second child, Sara Ann, was born in September of that year. They were fortunate to find a second family in their landlords in Athens. Jim talked fondly of his time abroad, and his family's experiences there are reflected in their home and their life even now. It was also during this time that Jim became the Cribbage Champion of the Mediterranean (or so he claimed).
Following two years abroad, Jim was ordered to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where he was the emergency room senior attending physician. His son Peter Thomas was born there in January 1975. The family moved to Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base in southern California that July, where he entered the Family Practice residency program at the Regional Naval Medical Center. After a three-year residency, Jim administered an outlying clinic on the base. This clinic became a forum for Jim's lighthearted and humorous behavior, and soon everyone on base wanted to get their medical care from Dr. Beier.
In the fall of 1979, Jim left active duty and the family moved to central Wisconsin. He took a position with the Marshfield Clinic Mosinee Center and established himself as a respected family practitioner. His children recall warmly how the community of Mosinee embraced their father. In 1995, he became a medical director for Wausau Insurance's health care plan, and later for Wisconsin Physician Services, until his retirement in 2007.
Jim was an avid fisherman and hunter who reveled in any opportunity to be outdoors with his good friends and cherished dogs. In the 15 years prior to moving into a log home on the Wisconsin River in 1995, Jim and his family vacationed at their cottage at Rainbo Lodge in Boulder Junction. He was actively involved in his community, joining with his wife to support the United Way, Performing Arts Foundation and the Festival of the Arts. His other favorite activities included tennis, golf, skiing, pontooning, reading and his beloved Chicago Cubs.
Memorial service will be held at 12 noon Saturday Jan. 15, 2011 at the First Universalist Unitarian Church, 504 Grant St, Wausau. Rev. Paul Beckel will officiate. Visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. until the time of service at the church on Saturday.
Brainard Funeral Home, Wausau, is assisting the family with arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in his name to the American Cancer Society or to the Wausau Community Foundation.
On-line condolences may be given at www.brainardfuneral.com