James Schweger was born to Esther May Vancalster and Boyd Bernard (Bud) Schweger on April 23rd, 1939 on the West side of Green Bay, WI. Jimmy’s best friend for the first 10 years of his life was his beloved grandmother, Leontine, who was born in Belgium in 1886. Leontine spoke a French/Dutch dialect called “Walloon” and lived with the Schweger family.
The Schwegers purchased a summer cabin on the shores of Green Bay (Little Suamico) where Jim could excel in his love of swimming, fishing, and boating. As a young teen, he built small hydroplanes, tinkered with engines, and challenged his friends and family to ride behind on skis or even an old ironing board!
Jim graduated from West High School in 1958 and worked every summer at the Fort Howard Paper Company during his college years where his father was Vice President of Engineering.
Jim attended the University of Wisconsin in the department of mechanical engineering where he met a one-time paying customer for a ride home to the East side of Green Bay. Nancy Klann was smitten with Jim’s movie star good looks and dry sense of humor. The summer after graduation, Jim found himself saying “I do” at the First Congregational Church. That afternoon, the young couple hopped in a 1954 Ford (a $50 purchase from his uncle) and headed west to the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair.
A first job working for the U.S. Navy on aircraft carrier design in the exciting city of San Francisco proved a stimulating place for the newlyweds to live. Jobs in Port Townsend, WA, Eureka, CA and Vancouver, WA followed with the Crown Zellerbach paper company. Jim ended his career as Plant Engineer with James River in Camas, WA and went on to enjoy his retirement years.
Jim loved his hunting and fishing weekends – running boats with various motors on the Puget Sound, trolling for Salmon, crabbing, and gathering clams and oysters. Jim also collected historic firearms and enjoyed gardening, scuba-diving, skiing (water and snow), and flying. Jim at one point obtained his pilot’s license for small aircraft.
All of Jim’s residences over the years in WA, OR and AZ included immaculate workshops for his various projects and car restorations. Some notable projects included a 1957 XK140 Jaguar convertible, and a 1962 Austin Healy. Jim and Nancy joined various auto clubs and enjoyed weekend drives and car shows throughout the Pacific Northwest and Arizona.
In 1977 Jim and Nancy purchased a WW2 era cabin on stilts with 2 outhouses on the shores of Lake Pend Orielle in Idaho. Jim fished for hours at a time for perch, using worms, and then properly scaling and filleting his catch to enjoy fried up just like in the old days in Wisconsin. Jim and Nancy have caught thousands of fish that have been savored by friends and family over the years.
Jim also restored antique outboard motors, where his collection grew to nearly 80 motors, proudly displayed along the walls and on floor stands along the perimeter of his shops. Duck carving came next, with all North American ducks carved, painted and displayed throughout his residences.
Jim leaves behind wife Nancy, daughters, Gail & Laura; their spouses Dave and Karen; grandchildren David, Tori, James and Charlie; along with his sister, Jean Hendrickson and her 3 children, Kim, Kelly and Joe. Jim’s kindness, generosity, humor, self-discipline, and zest for productive learning are large parts of his legacy.