Feb. 4, 1935 - Dec. 24, 2019

James “Red” Kleifgen, age 84, of Nekoosa, died Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2019 at Marshfield Medical Center.

Jim was born Feb. 4, 1935 in Pittsville to Alfred and Lidvina (Greve) Kleifgen. He married Dona Lou Felice on March 10, 1956 in La Crescent, Minnesota. For 39 ½ years Jim was employed as a papermaker at Nekoosa Papers, Inc., retiring on Oct. 1, 1992.

Following his retirement, Jim and Dona resided in Phillips for 14 years. He was an avid fisherman and enjoyed making Muskie fishing baits with his sons. He was a member of the Musser Lake Association and was instrumental in helping to complete the Walleye Spawn Project 1996 on which his son, Jim Jr., also worked. He and his son, Dale, hosted the annual Kleifgen Father's Day Muskie Hunt on the Musser Flowage.

He served in the National Guards for 2 ½ years and was a member of the American Legion in Phillips. He loved his Country and enjoyed sharing his personal political views with others. He was a longtime member of the NRA and looked forward to the annual deer hunting trips with family and friends which he took part in until age 79. Watching the Brewers, Packers and Badgers or playing a good game of Sheepshead or Cribbage were also lifelong interests. And like other grandfathers he enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Dona Kleifgen; two children, James Kleifgen Jr and Diane Weber; four grandchildren, Jade (Kurt) Atwood, Jeremiha (Bobbie) Weber, Jayson Kleifgen, and Sarah (Andy) Slaboskeski; six great-grandchildren Corbin and Mason Van Landingham, Christian and Carsen Weber, and Colton and Jackson Atwood; his sister Theresa Hasenohrl and his sisters-in-law Vivian Kleifgen, Karen Kleifgen, and Mary Lou (Barry) Gardner; and brother-in-law Larry (Rosemary) Felice.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents; son, Dale; son-in-law, Robert Weber; brothers: Ronald and John Kleifgen; his sister, Rita (Edward) Brandt; and brother-in-law, William Hasenohrl.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Nekoosa. Rev. John Swing will officiate. Burial will be at a later date at Riverside Cemetery. A memorial visitation will be held at the church on Thursday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service. Feldner/Ritchay Funeral Home is assisting the family.

The family would like to thank the staff in the Palliative Care Unit of the Marshfield Medical Center, the Ascension at Home Hospice Services, and the Nekoosa Ambulance Services for their kind and compassionate care of Jim. The family also wishes to thank Father John Swing and the Sacred Heart parishioners for their many kindnesses and home visits. “You gave us comfort when we needed it most.”

To plant a tree in memory of James Kleifgen as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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