Local businessman, James “Jim” P. Draeger passed away peacefully at Evergreen Terrace, Sunday, June 7, 2020 under the loving care of Evergreen Terrace staff and surrounded by family at his side.
Jim was born July 13, 1938 in Antigo to the late Edward and Carmen (Fermanich) Draeger.
He graduated from Antigo High School in 1956 and St. Norbert College with a degree in business in 1960.
In 1961 he married his only love, Mary Ellen Shaughnessy from Chicago, whom he met at Bass Lake where their parents both had cottages on the east shore. Jim and Mary Ellen would have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on June 18.
Jim returned to Antigo after college to work for his father at Draeger Oil Company. He grew the company from one full-service gas station with a small fuel oil delivery truck route to a company with 17 company stores and supplying another 81 dealer locations throughout Wisconsin and Michigan, supplying over 68 million gallons a year.
He added 14 semi transports over the years to service the accounts and added a propane and farm division which catered to Langlade, Shawano, Oneida, and Marathon County area.
Jim loved to work, hunt, and drink beer—in that order. He worked every day to ensure that everyone in the family had everything they needed. He spoiled each and every one of them and loved doing so. He never retired, still working until the day he passed away. Jim was proud of his career spanning 59 years selling, buying and brokering fuel.
He enjoyed his winters in Maui where he spent the last 27 years looking out over the blue waters of the Pacific from his lanai.
Jim loved Antigo and was charitable in supporting the city and the people within it. He was proud of this town and the people he worked with. He had a monmuental soul, never asking and always giving. He worked for the love of accomplishment to support the joy of giving, a rare trait in any person.
Jim had a strong faith in God and was an active member of St. Wencel’s Catholic Church. He was also a member of Knights of Columbus.
He is survived by his wife and five children, Susie (Rob) Schroeder, Sarah (Gary) Voytovich, Jenny (Dave) Schlundt, Dan (Patty) Draeger and Joe (Susan) Draeger. He has 21 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
He is also survived by a brother, Robert (Mary) Draeger of Madison, a brother-in-law, Jack Prodoehl, and sister-in-law, Gail Rasmussen.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Bonnie Prodoehl.
A funeral service will be held on Friday, June 12 at 2 p.m. at Schofield Stadium. Visitation will be from noon until 2 p.m. at the stadium. Father Matt Simonar will officiate. Interment will be at St. Wencel’s Catholic Church Cemetery. In honor of Jim’s love for hunting and Hawaii please dress in Hawaiian or camouflage attire.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Jim Draeger Memorial Fund.
Strasser-Roller Funeral Home is serving the family. Friends may visit online at strasserrollerfh.com.
Rest easy Dad—We will miss you.
Special thanks to the staff at Evergreen Terrace, Dr. Bart Kneeland and LeRoyer Hospice.