James F. Bukolt
Born in Stevens Point, Wisconsin in 1936, the youngest son of Ramona (Grabowski) and Victor J. Bukolt Sr., James Bukolt earned his heavenly rest on May 8, 2022 at age 86. Curious, good-natured, and kind – but harboring a stubborn streak – Jim graduated from University of Wisconsin Stevens Point in 1958 and made his way to the big city of Chicago where he started a career in commercial aviation working for Eastern Airlines at the Merchandise Mart. It was there that he met a fellow employee, Rebecca White, who would become his wife in 1969. Three children followed: Katherine, Melissa, and Aaron. All three of his children grew up to be successful adults, mostly because of their father’s constant cheering and support.
During the children’s formative years, Jim and his wife prioritized adventures and travel. As a result, the family has endless memories documented on a movie camera that recorded celluloid films with sound (Jim’s pride and joy). Jim and Becky shared many adventures over their 53 year marriage, traveling the world together or with their kids, moving to Colorado for a few years, and welcoming two granddaughters, Lillian Irene and Adeline Rae.
Jim lived a life of deep faith and quiet servitude. A fourth degree Knight of Columbus with the Queen of Angels, a Chapter at Transfiguration parish in Wauconda, Jim worked tirelessly to raise money and help others. Whether he was planning the annual wreath sales or selling tootsie rolls, Jim was a cheerful face in the parish community. Throughout his life, he knelt at his bedside to say his prayers before bed, and even sought out Catholic mass while tailgating on a Sunday morning in the parking lot of Lambeau Field.
Jim loved the Chicago Cubs, the Green Bay Packers and the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. He watched the Weather Channel for hours like it was HBO except for a pause to watch Wheel of Fortune, a cocktail and brie and Ritz crackers in hand. He was a patriot who adored this country.
Because he was quiet, his wry one-liners were doubly funny. Up to the end, he responded to every “How are you feeling?” by saying “With my fingers.”
He leaves behind countless friends and family, his wife, Becky, his daughter Kathy and her husband David, his daughter Melissa, and his son Aaron and his wife Elaine and his grandchildren Lillian and Adeline.
Jim’s memory may be honored with a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the Knights of Columbus Queen of Angels Council.
A funeral Mass will be held on June 18 at 10:30am at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Stevens Point, WI. The burial will immediately follow at Guardian Angels Cemetery.