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NEW AUBURN — Lee E. James, 77, of New Auburn passed away Monday, May 14, 2018, at his residence.

He was born Jan. 30, 1941, in Chippewa Falls, the son of Goldie (Hyde) and Harvey James.

Lee married Nancy Kuhnert Jan. 19, 1960, in Altoona. Together they raised three children in Caledonia, Wis. After Nancy passed away Aug. 7, 1987, Lee married his childhood friend Judie Rathbun in Chippewa Falls, March 1988. Lee served in the U.S. Navy from 1959 to 1972. He served three tours in the Vietnam War. After being honorably discharged from the Navy, he worked at St. Mary’s Hospital, Milwaukee, Wisonsin Paperboard, Milwaukee, and the State of Wisconsin as a stationary engineer. Lee was an avid deer hunter, fisherman, loved to entertain his friends and was president of the Salisbury Breakfast Club in Sampson Township.

Lee is survived by his wife of thirty years, Judie; children, Jesse (Teri) James of Caledonia, Lori (Ron) Stege of Chetek, Jodi (Kenneth) Hazen of Oak Creek, Wendy (Kevin) Cohoon of Chippewa Falls, Lisa (Doug) Pearson of Kent, Ohio, Gat (Patricia) Gear of New Auburn, Suzi (Chris) Hinke of Jim Falls, Angel Johnson of New Auburn, Duane Johnson Jr. of New Auburn; 16 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents; first wife; and four brothers, Gordon, Walter, Merle and Dale.

A memorial gathering will be held Saturday, May 19, from 10 to 11 a.m. at the funeral home, with a time of remembrance at 11 a.m. Military honors will be accorded immediately following at Twin Lakes Cemetery in Sampson Township where he will be laid to rest. A portion of his cremains will also be interred alongside his first wife at Lake View Cemetery in Eau Claire and Northern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Spooner.

The Burnham-Ours-Kolstad Family Funeral Home has been entrusted with the final arrangements.

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