God sent his Army of Angels down to this earth to escort James A. (Jim) Glaus through the Golden Gates of Heaven to continue his life’s mission of serving others in the house of the Lord on February 1, 2020 at the age of 88.
Jim was born on November 16, 1931; the eighth of nine children born to Allen Albert Glaus and Christie Francis Hei. He was born in a small rural farmhouse just outside of Plum City along County Highway S. He would spend most of his life in the Plum City area. He was born during the time of the Great Depression, so you can be certain he knew first hand what it was like to be poor.
The farmhouse where Jim was born had none of today’s luxuries. It was merely a shelter to protect his family from the elements. On rare occasions, it was a treat for the Glaus family to be able to listen to a radio. Anywhere he or his family wanted to travel would be by foot. The family would walk to Plum City to get items they needed at the various merchants and then travel with their purchases back home. Life went on for Jim and the family; seemed liked the tough times only made them better people.
Jim’s early education began at St. John The Baptist Catholic School in Plum City. His education continued at Cotter Hill School in the Plum Creek Valley and then on to Waubeek Country School in Dunn County where he would receive his eighth-grade diploma. He attended Plum City High School for four years graduating in 1949. Following high school, he attended a trade school in Minneapolis, Minnesota, graduating with a certificate in “Railroad Communication”.
On January 31, 1951, he married Marie T. Gilles at St. John The Baptist Catholic Church in Plum City at which time he was employed at Cargill Inc., in Minneapolis.
On January 25, 1952, Jim was inducted into the military through the selective service system and proudly served his country in the United States Army Corp of Engineers until June 10, 1954. Jim’s military service began at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; after basic training he was flown to Fort Belvoir, Virginia for advanced engineer training. Following an extended leave at home in July 1952, he reported for overseas duty at Camp Kilmor in New Jersey and arrived in Bremerhaven Germany in mid-August. While serving in Germany, he was a member of the 7714 Army Intelligence in Heidelberg where he spent the rest of his military duty. Jim’s time in Germany was spent in the rural areas as his group spent most of their time in the American and French zones updating maps of the areas that had either been lost or destroyed during the final days of World War II. In October of 1953, Jim sustained multiple injuries in a military accident and would spend 9 months of his service time in the 320th General Hospital in Landstuhl Germany and then at the Great Lakes Naval Hospital in the states before being discharged on June 10, 1954. Thus, returning home.
In 1958, Jim became involved in the retail business and with the help of his family and friends, he started “Jim’s Market”, a small grocery store in Plum City. This venture was soon followed by the founding of “The Oasis Bar and Lounge”, also located in Plum City. Jim and his family would continue to operate these business ventures for several years.
Jim soon became interested in community affairs; he was a charter member of the Plum City Lion’s Club, and through the years, would spend a lot of his free time serving American Legion Post #365 in Plum City. Through the course of his 66 plus years of service to the American Legion, he held most all offices having served as Post Commander for several years. Jim also served as the Pierce County American Legion Commander for several years.
Following the Plum City Centennial in 1957, Jim could see the vision to continue with the celebration in Plum City. This celebration would become annual and down the road led to the “American Legion Summer Festival”, a celebration that for more years than we can remember was held under his coordination and organization.
Jim was a dedicated citizen to the Village of Plum City. In 1977, he was elected to the office of Village President. This was an office that Jim held for 26 years. Over the course of his years in office, with the help of the community, he was able to achieve many remarkable accomplishes in his endeavor to make Plum City a community to be proud of.
Jim was also a very active member of St. John The Baptist Catholic Church. Dating back to 1972 Jim was involved in the many improvements made to the church and its surroundings including the church cemetery with which he was instrumental in remapping. He held various seats on committees within the church for several years as well as maintained the buildings and grounds for several years.
Jim is survived by his children, Sharry (Rodger), JoAnn (Bill), Patty (Mark), Todd (Gwen), Kris (Don), Mike (Lisa), Annette and Melissa, 17 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren and one sister, Rita (Denny). He is preceded in death by his parents, several siblings, and his wife, Marie.
A celebration of Jim’s life will begin with a visitation on Friday, February 7, 4 – 7pm at Rhiel Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Durand, Wisconsin. Saturday, February 8, a 1-hour visitation at St. John The Baptist Catholic Church in Plum City, Wisconsin will begin at 10am followed by a Christian Burial Mass with Military Honors at 11am. Burial will follow immediately at St. John The Baptist Catholic Cemetery.
As Jim leaves this earth, we can only hope that his legacy will not be forgotten and somehow manage to be carried forward with the honesty and dedication that he so proudly possessed as he served his community, church, and country.
Rhiel Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Durand, is serving the family.