April 6, 1939 - November 10, 2020
Waunakee, WI - Jim was born April 6, 1939 in Waunakee, WI (Westport Township), and passed away November 10, 2020 at age 81. He attended Crossing School and Lodi for grade school and graduated in 1958 from Waunakee High School. Jim was a very gifted football player, and was MVP, Tri-County League All-Conference and All-State at Guard and Linebacker positions in 1958. He was recruited to play football by several colleges but chose to start a farm to care for his family instead.
Jim was a life-long farmer, growing tobacco for 40+ years. He farmed in partnership with 3 brothers in Dane Co./ Township of Vienna until 2013, when he retired to focus on restoring tractors and a steam engine. Jim held family, God and farming in the highest of regards. He raised his family on the farm and spent many days farming with them. He taught his family about hard work, importance of agriculture and stewardship to the land. In addition to farming, Jim was a tobacco buyer for 46 years, salesman for multiple companies including P.A.G./Cargill Seed Corn and Archer Oil. He served as Vice Chairman for Dane County A.S.C.S. (FSA) and sat on the board for Schumacher Farms and Foremost Farmers/A.M.P.I.
Outside of farming, Jim was an accomplished bowler and fortunate to win tournaments and make life-long friends in the process. He loved the outdoors and was an avid fisherman and hunter. Conservation of land and wildlife was a passion in his life. In 2010, Jim oversaw the donation of his family's homesteaded Westport Farm to the Natural Heritage Trust to persevere natural prairie and lands adjacent to drumlin formations left by the glaciers. In doing so, he left a legacy of how he felt about land stewardship as a farmer entrusted in caring for land and wildlife.
Jim was a well-loved, generous man who was involved in his local community and Christ Lutheran Church where he volunteered to provide communion to those in nursing homes. He will be remembered for his work ethic, reminding his boys of the value of hard work and the stories he'd tell with a big ol' grin on his face. In his last years, he particularly enjoyed donating garden produce to the food shelter and his time to Schumacher Farm. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him, but had a good relationship with the Lord and is in heaven getting to do all the things he loves to do again.
Jim leaves behind his two sons - James E. Koltes (Dawn) Ames, IA; Michael A. Koltes (Erin), DeForest, WI; their mother Beverly Koltes, DeForest, WI, and granddaughter Elizabeth Koltes.
He was the son of Otto and Marie (Bordson) Koltes; Brothers and Sisters included - Jerry (Terri Lynn) Koltes Waunakee, WI; Dave Koltes Waunakee, WI; Shirley (Harold) Keller - Waunakee, WI; Elaine (Bob) Helgested - Stoughton, WI; Judy (Mark) Malloy, DeForest, WI. He was preceded in death by his parents, and brothers Ronald (Bud) Koltes, Terry Koltes and sister Delores Treadwell.
Funeral arrangements were coordinated by Winn-Cress Funeral Home at 5785 Hwy Q Waunakee, WI 53597 (608)-849-4513. Due to the COVID19 pandemic, a private ceremony was held.