LODI –James W. Ness, age 72, passed away with his family by his side on Tuesday, July 21, 2020, after a brief illness. He was born on August 22, 1947, in Madison, the son of Thomas and Verna (VonWald) Ness. Jim graduated from Lodi High School in 1965.
Jim proudly served his country with the Army National Guard in the 13th Medical Evac Unit for six years. He was employed by Oscar Mayer for nearly 40 years, retiring 2006. At age 58 he passed the Elevator Apprentice Test and worked as a Mechanic’s Helper in the elevator industry until 2011.
Jim was very passionate about serving the community where he grew up and spent his life. He was elected to Lodi City Council and served as an Alder for 12 years where he served on the Public Works Committee, Finance Committee, Parks Committee, and Utilities Commission. In 2016, He was elected as Mayor of Lodi and served two consecutive terms. In addition, Jim spent 30 years as the Treasurer to the Lodi Curling Club.
Jim valued family above all else. He enjoyed large family gatherings with his siblings and their families and taking trips up north with his children and grandchildren. In his free time, Jim enjoyed playing cards, curling, cheering on the Badgers and Packers, sharing an ice cream cone with his cats, and spending time with his countless friends at KD’s Bar and Grill.
Jim is survived by his two daughters, Vikki Ness and Jaime Taylor; four grandchildren, Mikayla Ness, Trenton Ness, Hailey Hamilton, Kaitlyn Hamilton; four sisters, Darlene Brisky, Donna (George) Ripp, Ardis Achterberg, and Audrey (David) Attoe; five brothers, Dale (Alice) Ness, Thomas (Judy) Ness, Richard “Tack” (Connie) Ness, Charles Ness, and Donald (Jean) Ness; sister-in-law, Dolores Ness; many nieces, nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Joyce (Raymond) Lochner; brother, Robert Ness; and brothers-in-law, Leon Achterberg and Robert Brisky.
Visitation will be held at GUNDERSON LODI FUNERAL AND CREMATION CARE, 157 S. Main St., Lodi, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020. Due to COVID-19 guidelines at this time, only 50 people are allowed into the funeral home at one time. Social distancing is required, and face masks are strongly encouraged. A private family service will be held on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, which will be LIVE STREAMED beginning at 11 a.m. Friends and family who wish to view services via LIVE STREAM may visit Jim’s obituary page at www.gundersonfh.com and click on the Watch Webcast link. A private family burial will follow the service. Friends are invited to Jim’s “Celebration of Life” with the family at KD’S BAR & GRILL, N1444 Fair St., Lodi, starting at 12:30 p.m. on Monday. In lieu of flowers, the family request memorials to the UW Carbone Cancer Center. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.
Funeral & Cremation Care
157 S. Main St.