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COLFAX — James “Jim” Franklin Robbins, 83, of Colfax died Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.

His last days were spent at The Neighbors Health Care Center in Menomonie, cause of death was Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Born March 20, 1934, in Billings Montana at Billings Deaconess Hospital at the cost of $4.00 per day. His mother was in the hospital 13 days at a total cost of $72.00. Parents, Gwladys (Jones) Robbins and Frank Perry Robbins.

He was the youngest of three brothers. Robert L Robbins, 96 years old, currently lives in Helena, Mont. and is a World War II vet. His wife, Virginia Louis Robbins is deceased, William Bowen Robbins (deceased) was a commercial pilot. His wife, Ilah Mae (Fedder) Robbins passed away in 2017 at the age of 94. They lived in Burnsville, Minn. then Mesa Ariz.

Jim married Joyce Louise Ganz Robbins Nov. 24, 1961.

Jim met Joyce in Alma, Wis. where his dear Aunt Maggie and Uncle William Ehing lived next door to the Ganz family.

Jim graduated from Edina/Morningside high school in 1952 in suburban Minneapolis, Minn.

Jim has fond memories of working for the Minnesota highway departments’ survey crew.

He then entered the Air Force where he was accepted into the Cadets program learning to fly airplanes. He served for nearly five years of active duty. He was stationed in Japan for two years and flew supplies to Korea as a pilot of a C119 cargo plane. He was employed as a pilot for Ozark Airline based in St. Louis, Mo. flying DC3 passenger airplanes as a local service airline, stopping in many small towns. He talks of flying low using water towers, railroads and visual landmarks. He was based at Midway Airport in Chicago, Ill. until O’Hare opened in the early 60’s. He retired from TWA on April Fools Day 1989 as a captain on the DC9-80.

He has lived in Billings, Mont., Winona Minn., Minneapolis, St. Louis and Chicago, Villa park, Addison, Woodridge and Marengo Ill. He retired to Tainter Lake North of Menomonee in 1991.

Jim had a woodworking shop and could fix and invent just about anything. He kept his equipment in working order. His homemade sound system played classical music day and night, he never turned it off. He liked working with his hands, made furniture, bread and 40 lbs. of fudge for gifts at Christmas.

His boat and being on the water brought him great pleasure. He liked his Saab cars best. Most of his life he was an avid bird watcher never letting the feeders go unattended.

Jim is survived by his wife, Joyce (Ganz) Robbins; two sons, Perry David of Lafayette, Colo., his wife, Julie (Koch) Robbins of Billings, and grandchildren, Nigel and Sophi of Boulder, Colo., Tracy Alan Robbins of Frontenac, Minn., and wife, Margaret (Hare) Robbins of Marengo Ill.; three grandchildren, Melanie, Mark and Megan.

He was Uncle Jimmy to many nieces and nephews. A celebration of his life will be an open house from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, March 25, at the Hampton Inn, 2017 Stout St., Menomonie. He will be interred in the Alma Cemetery next summer.

His answering machine poetry will be remembered by many. “I’m just a machine that answers the phone so give me your message after the tone.”

Chippewa Valley Cremation Services of Altoona, Wis., is serving the family.

Online condolences may be expressed at, obituaries at www.chippewavalleycremation.com.


the life of: James 'Jim' Franklin Robbins
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