Landscapes 09


James "Jim" Gassner

December 4, 1926 ~ November 26, 2018 (age 91)

James L. Gassner died Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. He was 91.

Jim was born Dec. 4, 1926 in Wausau, son of the late Richard and Marie (Sauter) Gassner. 

He graduated from Marathon High School and enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving in Guam in the Pacific theater of World War II. Through the G.I. Bill, Jim attained his bachelor’s degree in business from St. John’s University in Minnesota in 1950.

Jim’s first accounting job was with Lloyd L. Felker Co., in Marshfield, through which, on Sept. 15, 1950, a coworker introduced him to Rita Kraemer. Exactly one year later, Jim and Rita married, launching 67 years of companionship and adventures. They moved to Eau Claire, where Jim worked two years at Bill Bauman Accounting and then to Wausau, where he was an accountant at Land O’Lakes Bakers and then Hoffer Glass Co./Marmet Corp.

In 1966, Jim opened his own CPA office, Gassner Company, SC, from which he retired in January 1998.

Jim enjoyed archery, hunting, bowling and golf. He was an avid gardener who especially liked picking berries and tending to his apple trees and raspberry patch. He was passionate about veterans and was proud to have taken part in the Honor Flight.

Over the years, Jim and Rita took many trips to Europe and various islands. They purchased a condo on Marco Island, Florida, more than 20 winters ago. One of Jim’s greatest pleasures was the time he spent outdoors with Rita and his family at the cabin he built in 1954 near Minocqua.

Jim had a head for numbers and a heart for people, with remarkable recall of relationships, stories and details. He studied history, particularly the war that shaped him and his generation. He knew every speck of his land up north and all its fauna and flora. He was a faithful Catholic, a devoted husband and a proud father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He plastered his golf cart in Florida with decals from the colleges his grandchildren attended.

Survivors include Rita, the love of his life, and their seven children, 21 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren:

Paul (Deborah) Gassner, of Hazelhurst and Naples, Fla., and their children, Andrew (Denise) and children, Finn and Greta; Judson (Megan) and children, Lola and Ira; and Elisa (Mark) Mosher

Kevin (Victoria) Gassner, of Sheboygan, and their children, Kyle (Jamie) and children, William, Lucas and Leo; Taylor (Robert) Gudates and son, Logan; Matthew; and Jennifer (Brock) Polnaszek

Stephen (Mary Jo) Gassner, of Wausau, and their children, Nicole (Chad) Giles and daughter, Amelia; Alexander (Kayla) and son, Phillip; Erin; and Madeline

John (Tammy) Gassner, of Greenleaf, and their sons, Jack and Joseph

Mary (Joel) Dresang, of Shorewood, and their daughters, Haley, Hannah and Grace

Karen (Steven) Krahn, of Wausau, and their children, Annaliese, Elizabeth and Thomas

Mark (Jo) Gassner, of Kohler, and their children, Bennet and Brontë

Jim is further survived by his sister, Joan (the late John) Seubert, of Marathon, and his brother, Frank (Myrna) Gassner, of Marathon, by his brother-in-law, Thomas (Marilyn) Kraemer, and sisters-in-law, Flora (the late John) Christner, and Rosemary (the late Ronald) Adler, as well as nieces and nephews.

He was further preceded in death by his parents-in-law, Anton and Emma (Altmann) Kraemer, brothers-in-law, Paul John Kraemer and Richard Kraemer and sister-in-law Arline Stangl.

The funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, at the Church of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Wausau. The Very Rev. Msgr. Mark Pierce will preside.  Burial will be in St. Joseph Cemetery, Wausau. Visitation will be Monday, Dec. 3, from 5 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the church and again on Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the Mass.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials in Jim’s name to the Church of the Resurrection, 621 2nd Street, Wausau, WI 54403.

Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 1302 Sixth St., Wausau, is in charge of arrangements. Please share online condolences at



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