James R. Heinz, 89, of Shawano, passed away on Monday, May 18, 2015 in Shawano. Jim was born on June 25, 1925 in Shawano, the son of the late Gus and Esther (Ludolph) Heinz.
Jim loved Shawano and lived here for most of his 89 years. The Heinz family has strong foundations in the Shawano community. Jim’s father was the pharmacist that owned the Heinz Drug Store on Main Street for many years. In 1942, while Jim was in high school, he played on the Shawano High championship football team. When his triplet grandsons Mike, Todd and Scott Heinz helped lead the Shawano football team to a conference championship in 2010, Jim was able to see the Heinz name be part of a successful football program 68 years later.
While still a senior at Shawano High School, Jim was drafted into World War II. He joined the Navy and travelled throughout the South Pacific. After the war, Jim attended the University of Washington where he earned a degree in forestry. His love for the outdoors brought him back to Wisconsin. He became the head forester for Tigerton Lumber Company. In 1957, Jim met and married his wife of 57 years, Pauline Zander, who worked as a medical technician at the Clintonville Hospital. Sadly, Pauline passed away six months ago.
In 1965, Jim took a new position with the Menominee Tribal Enterprises as the chief forester. The opportunity to manage one of the most pristine forests in the country offered huge rewards and many challenges. Jim loved the forest and working with the Menominee people. He had great respect for both and considered himself a member of the community, and was proud to work side by side with them.
In 1975, after the seizure of the Alexian Brothers Novitiate, Jim and Pauline made the decision to leave Wisconsin and moved to Calumet, Michigan. Jim worked for Universal Oil Products as the forest manager. As luck would have it, Jim reconnected with former Menominee leaders and returned to MTE as president in 1976. He then finished out his career with MTE, retiring in 1986. Jim took much pride in managing the well-respected forests of the Menominee. He still enjoyed taking drives through the reservation and visited the mill as recently as this May.
While in his retirement Jim began his own consulting business, Heinz Forestry. It allowed for him, to once again, be in the woods appreciating the forests and appraising the timber.
Jim was also active as a member of the Shawano County Board of Commissioners for many years. He very much enjoyed contributing to the community and voicing his opinions. Mostly, Jim was a kind, outspoken, storyteller that was beloved by his family and many friends. He will be greatly missed.
Jim is survived by his children, James (Deb) Heinz Jr., of Shawano, Paula (Mike) Motzko, of Minnesota, Mike (Joni) Heinz, of Neenah, and Linda (George) Adams, of Wausau; 12 grandchildren, Jimmy (Lindsey) Heinz, Andy Heinz, Eric (Kylie) Heinz, Mike Heinz, Scott Heinz, Todd Heinz, Anne Rae Motzko, Sam Motzko, Wil Heinz, Bethany Heinz, Emily Adams and Ben Adams. He is further survived by four great-grandchildren.
Jim was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Pauline, his parents, one brother and three sisters.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, May 29, 2015, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Shawano with the Rev. Luke Ferris officiating. Visitation will be held at the church on Friday from 9 a.m. until the time of the service. Military rites will be conducted by American Legion Post 117.
Memorials can be directed to St. Anthony Food Pantry in Neopit or Shawano Pathways for the Olga Brener Woods Project.
Swedberg Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.
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