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James W. Vaver

James W. Vaver

James “Jim” W. Vaver, age 76, of Menomonie, passed away peacefully on Saturday, February 10, 2024, at his home in Menomonie, WI.

Jim was born on April 11, 1947, in Chippewa Falls, WI, to Ralph and Jean (Waugh) Vaver. Jim graduated from Bloomer High School in 1965. He worked various factory and baking jobs, served in the Army National Guard in Chippewa Falls as a combat engineer for seven years, and was discharged honorably as a corporal. In 1969, his unit was activated to respond to the University of Wisconsin–Madison student demonstrations. He proudly wore the bucky badger and red arrow while serving.

In June of 1970, he was hired by the Menomonie Fire Department and served Menomonie in that capacity until January of 2000. For 30 years, he served the great people of Menomonie, saving countless lives and training others who did the same. His images still hang in the halls of the fire department to this day. During most of those years, he worked two jobs. He worked at the meat department at Don’s SuperValu and as maintenance at the Bank of Menomonie. He always made sure he provided for his family and worked hard nearly every day to do so.

Jim married the love of his life, Karen Weaver, on May 20, 1972, in Menomonie, WI at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. To this union of marriage was born two sons, Scot and Brian. He loved his family. He shared his passion for hunting with his boys and always encouraged them to strive to do their best. He enjoyed as many walks a day as possible with his buddy Willie. He was also a man so many looked up to, and his friends would always save a spot for him for a game of cards while enjoying a burger and beer.

Jim is survived by his sons Scot (Pam) Vaver of Eau Claire, WI and Brian (Anne) Vaver of Augusta, WI; two granddaughters, Josephine and Charlotte, one grandson, Walker; a brother Alex (Jacqueline) of La Crosse, WI and sister, Ann Gardner, of Salem, OR; He is also survived by his long childhood friend, Mark Dahl, who is much more of a second brother, and his wife Judy.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Jean and Ralph Vaver, and his wife, Karen.

Jim’s service will be held at 11:00 AM Monday, February 19, 2024, at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Menomonie.  Burial will be in the church cemetery.

 Visitation will be held from 9:00 AM until the time of the services at the church on Monday.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Dunn County Humane Society.  


  1. Dennis Smith

    Scott and Brian I’m sorry to hear about the passing of your dad. I worked with your dad first at Don’s Super Valu and the at fire scenes. Jim always had a positive attitude and I always enjoyed seeing him where ever it may be.

  2. Kyle Jay Nelson

    Was lucky enough to meet Jim in Weston shaking dice and having beers. We've lost a good one. My condolences to the family.

  3. Corbet & Mandy Peterson Family

    Our deepest sympathies to your family!

  4. John Entorf

    Scott and Brian, you have my deepest sympathies. I was lucky enough to work with your dad when I started. He will be missed!

  5. Rich Brackett

    A one of a kind Man, It was a pleasure working with him over the years and I am grateful for Jim being a friend a guy could share a beer or two with! Shocked and extremely saddened by his passing. He will be very much so missed and remembered with many a Vaver firefighting tale to tell, he was a bit of a Legend at MFD.

  6. Scott Watkins

    My deepest sympathy, thoughts and prayers go out to the family during this trying time. ????

  7. George Frazier

    Jim was a great guy. He will be missed.

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