Cover photo for James Jaeger's Obituary
James Jaeger Profile Photo
1948 James 2024

James Jaeger

May 18, 1948 — May 16, 2024

James (Jim) Jaeger passed away on May 16, 2024 after a 6-year battle with Lewy Body dementia.

Jim was born in Eau Claire Wisconsin in 1948 to Lorn and Katherine Jaeger and grew up in Menomonie, Wisconsin with his two younger sisters Mary and Jeanne.

While working as a camp counselor during summer break from Luther College, Jim met the love of his life, Karen. After graduating, Jim and Karen got married and immediately left for the Peace Corps on the South Pacific island of Yap.

When they returned from Yap, Jim got his law degree from Georgetown Law School. While living in Washington DC, Jim and Karen welcomed their first child Jesse into the world.

Jim started his law career working for the Internal Revenue Service, including serving on the IRS criminal investigation unit in Springfield, Illinois. In Springfield Jim and Karen's second son Andy was born.

In the early 1980s Jim left the IRS and the whole family moved to Madison Wisconsin where he helped pioneer the field of Elder Law and was an early adopter of the use of technology in law practices. He was the first lawyer in his firm to have a computer in his office and he convinced the Wisconsin State Bar Association to let his son Andy build the first computer bulletin board for lawyers to use before the internet was widely available.

Jim always had a calling to the ministry and realized that calling when he was ordained as a Unitarian Universalist Minister in 2016. He loved serving several small UU churches in Southern Wisconsin and working as a Hospice Chaplain after he retired from his law practice.

Jim was a lifelong adventurer, loving canoe trips in the Quetico/Boundary Waters and exploring new places with Karen. When his son Andy joined the Foreign Service, Jim and Karen traveled all over the world to visit Andy and his family.

Near the end of their life, Jim and Karen moved to Missoula Montana to be closer to his son Jesse. While keeping his primary sports affiliation with the Wisconsin Badgers, Jim also became a big fan of the University of Montana Grizzlies, with the Griz Soccer and Lady Griz Basketball being his favorite.

His wife Karen preceded him in death. He is survived by his sons Jesse and Andy Jaeger, daughters-in-law Natalie and Muugii, grandchildren Lorn, Misheel, Mars, Saraa, and Temujin, as well as granddaughter-in-law Fiona. He is also survived by his sisters Mary Schillinger, Jeanne Gendron and their husbands Dan Schillinger and Kim Gendron.

A memorial service celebrating Jim's life will be held June 22, 2024 at 4:00PM at First Unitarian Universalist Society in Madison Wisconsin. In lieu of flowers please make financial donations to The River Food Pantry at 2201 Darwin Rd, Madison, WI 53704.


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