American Veteran 01


James F. Edens

September 6, 1950 ~ May 21, 2019 (age 68)

James F. Edens, 68, Basil Drive, Madison, peacefully passed from this life Tuesday May 21, 2019 at his home.

He was born September 6, 1950, in Wausau, son of the late Levi W. Edens and Elaine (Hedtke) Edens Hettinga.

James was baptized in the family home in Hatley, WI and was confirmed in his faith at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ringle, WI in 1963.

Jim attended Hatley Elementary School, which had grades 1-8 all in one room.  While attending D.C. Everest High School, Jim earned letters in football and wrestling. He especially excelled in wrestling winning the Sectional Tournament and the chance to go to State competition.  Jim graduated in the class of 1968 from D.C. Everest High School.

As a teen Jim worked in the family grocery business, Hedtke’s I.G.A store in Hatley, WI. He helped rub hams and prepare bacon for the smoke house. He also learned the art of skinning deer for processing at the store. This skill came in handy while deer hunting locally and out West with his good friend Don Wick and his Uncle Frederick Hedtke and Fred’s Hatley hunting crew. One trip was to Canada with Scott Marcott coming home with Caribou.

Jim loved to impart his fishing and camping skills to young people.  He was an active leader on over 40 trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, earning his Lutheran Pioneer Master Voyageur plaque in 1988.  Over the years he shared his love of the outdoors and wildlife with many young men through the LP Voyageur Program.

After graduation Jim attended UW- Eau Claire. In the fall of 1969 he enlisted in the Army.  After basic training, he was sent to Holloman Air Force Base in White Sands, New Mexico as a meteorologist.  Jim was a member of the American Legion Post 501 in Madison.

After serving in the Army Jim went back to UW Eau Claire and earned his Bachelor Degree in Math & Economics. He earned his MBA at UW Madison. For 25 years, he was employed by the State of Wisconsin as a Credit Union examiner.  Jim traveled all over the state helping the Credit Unions with their safety and soundness.

James was the recipient of a kidney transplant, which extended his life by 14 years.  Our family and Jim were very grateful for the gift of life given by the donor.  He took special care of his health in honor of this blessing.

Survivors include his siblings, Jean Carol Edens, Stevens Point, David Lee (Cathy) Edens, Weston and Mary Sue Edens (Wayne) Kuss, Wausau; nieces, nephews, other relatives, friends and Goddaughter Heather Yanta and Godson Andrew  Bartelt.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his former wife Sandra L (Kichefski) Edens Steiner. 

Private Family Memorial Services will be held at Restlawn Memorial Park Chapel. Burial will follow in Restlawn Memorial Park with full Military Honors conducted by members of the American Legion, Montgomery-Plant-Dudley Post No.10.

Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Wausau, is in charge of arrangements.  Online condolences may be expressed at

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