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April 7, 2014

We remember Jim Mishefske - alumnus, colleague, and friend

Jim MishefskeThe faculty and staff in the UW-Eau Claire College of Business are saddened by the death of Jim Mishefske.  

Jim graduated from the College of Business with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance in 2004. He met his wife Julie Wildenberg when they were both students in our MBA program. Jim finished his MBA in spring 2013.

Many of us worked with Jim when he was the UW-Eau Claire SBDC director. He was an energetic, hardworking individual who had a passion for small business and entrepreneurship. We were very happy for him when he was selected to be the state SBDC director as we knew this was his dream job.

Jim was also very passionate about his family. We will always remember how proud he was of Julie and how excited he was when their daughter, Hannah, was born.

Our condolences go out to Julie, their daughter Hannah, and their family and friends.

James Edward Mishefske, 36, of Madison, formerly of Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire, died suddenly and unexpectedly on Thursday, April 3, 2014 in Madison.

Visitation and funeral information

Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m., Wednesday at Pederson-Volker Funeral Chapel, Chippewa Falls and one hour prior to the service Thursday at Lake Wissota Golf.

A funeral service will be held at 12 p.m., Thursday, April 10 at Lake Wissota Golf, 16108 97th Ave., Chippewa Falls, with the Rev. Robert B. Hoekstra officiating.  

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred and may be designated to the Hannah James Mishefske Education Fund.

He was born July 21, 1977 in San Diego, CA to Sue (Tomasello) and Edward Mishefske. He grew up in Chippewa Falls and graduated from Chi-Hi in 1995.

Following high school, Jim earned a degree in Mortuary Science from Worsham College in Chicago. He worked as a licensed funeral director at Pederson-Volker Funeral Chapel in Chippewa Falls.

Jim made a career change and went back to college at UW-Eau Claire to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2004 and later a Master of Business Administration in 2013. He then taught Entrepreneurship and Economic Development classes at the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UW-Eau Claire, where he also advised clients on growing their small businesses. He served as Director of the SBDC for four years.  In 2013, he was honored with the SBDC Excellence Award.

On June 4th, 2011 Jim married Julie Wildenberg in Hillsdale, WI. On March 31st, 2013, they were blessed with a daughter, Hannah James.  

In November, 2013, Jim earned the position of the new state director of the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center located in Madison. He and his family made the move to Madison from Eau Claire just two months ago.

Jim was very active and deeply loved the outdoors. He enjoyed snowboarding, skiing the Birkie, hiking, backpacking, biking, running, canoeing, woodworking, and he loved spending time at the family cabin that he helped build, in Barnes, WI. He was always looking for a new way to challenge himself and did so with a positive "can do" attitude. He would walk into a room and the room would light up simply because of his infectious personality. This world was a better place simply because he was a part of it.

Jim was blessed to find his best friend and partner in life, Julie who had similar interests and was as vivacious as he was. Their adventurous spirits led them in their journeys adding excitement and leaving a sense of fulfillment wherever they traveled.

His greatest passion however, one that he lived and breathed and which knew no limits, was his love and devotion to wife Julie, his daughter Hannah, his family and his friends. He was a wonderful loving husband and so intensely proud to be Hannah's father.

If you were his friend, he would be there for you through good and bad times, always ready to help, share a kind word or give you a shoulder to hug. He was beautiful!

He is survived by his wife, Julie; daughter, Hannah James; parents, Ed and Sue Mishefske of Chippewa Falls; sister, Heather Mishefske of Eau Claire; paternal grandmother, Charlotte Mishefske of West Allis; in-laws, William and Patricia Wildenberg of Superior; sisters-in-law, Sara (George) Hess of Kohler, Mary Wildenberg of Eden Prairie, MN; brother-in-law, Travis (Sara) Wildenberg of Honolulu, HI; a niece, Amber Hess; and his dog and best friend, Boston.

He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Ted Mishefske; and his maternal grandparents, John and Shirley Tomasello.

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.