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Obit: James “Jim” Ramsthal, 77, West Bend

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James Ramsthal, age 77, former president of Serigraph Sales and Manufacturing Co., passed away peacefully at home with his loving family by his side on Sunday, August 21, 2016 after a hard fought battle with myelodysplastic syndrome.

He was born in West Bend on January 1st, 1939 to the late Alfred and Elsie Ramsthal, owners and founders of Serigraph. Jim lived and worked in the West Bend community his entire life. His kindness reached thousands of people in the community. He graduated from West Bend High School in 1957 and later attended Lakeland College. In 1960, he married Sandra Garbutt of Milwaukee. Together they raised two children, Beth Ann and Robert.

Jim spent his entire career at Serigraph, starting in sales and ending as president. He will be remembered for his leadership and tremendous work ethic. The printing company expanded rapidly during his career, growing to more than 1,200 employees. Jim loved the company and focused on the well-being of his employees. The Ramsthal family sold the company in 1987. After leaving Serigraph, Jim assisted his daughter, Beth Ann, with her retail shop “Beth’s” in downtown West Bend in the 1990’s and early 2000’s.

Jim was a long time member of the West Bend Country Club, where he enjoyed golfing, delicious meals, and great company. He also enjoyed fishing and showing dogs with his family. After he retired, he enjoyed extensive traveling with his family.

Later in life, he met Lori Anne Terese on December 6, 2009 at the Poplar Inn. They were married October 19, 2013. They honeymooned in the Holy Land with a church group led by Father Nathan Reesman and Father Pat Heppe and then enjoyed traveling to France, Italy, Kenya, and regular trips to their vacation home in Vero Beach, Florida. Together they enjoyed bird watching, attending daily mass, and making frequent trips to watch their grandchildren play sports and sing in church.

Jim led a life of astounding kindness, love, and generosity that he shared with each person that his path crossed. Even up until the last of his days, he was always out searching for a way to share his gifts of kindness and gratitude. He showed us what it means to truly love in so many ways. He always left people and things better than he found them. He will be deeply missed and forever loved.

Jim leaves behind his two children, Beth Ann and Robert; his sister Kathy and her loving caregivers Pat and Dale Poch; his cousin Phillip Burck; his wife Lori Anne; her 3 children Louisa (Tim), Maria, and Jordan; 2 grandchildren, Treyton and Kaliyah; and other family and friends.

He is preceded in death by his first wife, Sandra, in 2007; his parents, and an infant daughter, Linda.

Visitation for Jim will be held on Friday, August 26, 2016 from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm with a Rosary at 7:30 pm at the Myrhum Patten Miller and Kietzer Funeral Home (1315 W. Washington St. West Bend, WI 53095).  Visitation will also be held on Saturday, August 27, 2016 at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church (1025 S. 7th Ave. West Bend, WI 53095) from 10:00 am until 11:00 am.  A Mass of Christian Burial will follow the visitation on Saturday at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church at 11:00 am.  Entombment will be in Washington County Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Jim’s name may be sent to St. John’s Lutheran School, Watertown to be used towards the grandchildren’s Christian education or to St. Frances Cabrini.

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