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James 'Jim' Cestkowski Sr.


WAUSAU, Wis. — James “Jim” Cestkowski Sr., 78, of Land O’ Lakes, died Monday, July 15, 2013, at the Wausau Aspirus Hospital after a long battle with cancer.

Jim was born on May 10, 1935, to Lola and Albert Cestkowski, in Watersmeet, Mich. After graduating from Watersmeet High School in 1952, he went on to Michigan State University, where he played baseball and graduated in 1957 with a degree in geology. Jim spent time in Chicago and Mexico working, and then returned home and purchased with his brother, Bill, a bowling alley, restaurant and bar in Land O’ Lakes, which was known for many years as Bill and Jim’s Bowl.

He served in the Navy as a Seabee.

In 1961, Jim married his beloved wife, Kathy. Together they had four children.

In 1974, he sold his portion of the business to Bill and returned to college at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where he received a master’s degree in education. After working in various capacities around the Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin, Jim started working for the state of Wisconsin in 1979 as a building superintendent, where he stayed until 2003.

Family that proceeded Jim in death are his parents, Lola and Albert Cestkowski; brothers, Jack, Phillip, Patrick “Bear” and Bill Cestkowski; a sister, Peggy; nephew, Steve; and great-nephew, Jacob.

Jim is survived by his wife, Kathy; and his four children, daughter, Joni (Mike) Horst, of Crystal Falls, Mich., Jim (Lisa) Cestkowski, of Columbus, Jeff (Cindy) Cestkowski, of Wausau, and Jerel “Jay” (Neelone) Cestkowski, of Madison. Jim leaves 8 beloved grandchildren, Sami (Walter), Kilie, J.T., Tommy, Zack, Karina, Josh and Joey. Also surviving are his sisters, Katherine “Sissy” (John) Eversman, of Alabama, and Janice “Niecy” (Bob) Ensminger, of Colorado; and sister-in-law, Mary Cestkowski; along with many nieces, nephews and cousins.

A funeral service will be held on Friday, July 19, at 11 a.m. at St. Albert Catholic Church in Land O’ Lakes.

Visitation will be held one hour prior to the time of the service at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to the American Cancer Society are appreciated.

Condolences may be expressed at


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