James Fredrick Wojcik passed away on December 15, 2021 in Spokane, Washington. He did not die alone.
Jim was born the youngest of four children to John and Martha (Rehbein) Wojcik in Pulaski, Wisconsin on June 12, 1938. As a point of etiquette fostered by his plumber father, he always made sure to have a match with him when going to the bathroom. He grew up idolizing his brothers, Eugene and Howard, and his big sister, Arlene. After graduation from high school, Jim moved to Madison to attend college. He studied art at the University of Wisconsin. He found happiness and contentment in Madison and lived there most of his life. His studies of art led him to his great appreciation and passion for interior design. His home was always a collection of treasures he found. There was never a bare wall in his house. In fact, I don’t think there was ever a bare shelf, mantle or table to be found in Jim’s home. Ethan Allen was lucky enough to hire him after working at Manchesters by the Capital. Jim spent years helping people make their houses into beautiful homes. Many of his customers worked with him over the decades and became some of his closest friends. I am sure we all have something special in our homes that Jim helped select which remind us of him.
Jim was a lifelong bachelor, but knew true love and knew himself. His home companions were a series of cats named Sam. He made a point to see family in Pulaski and in Green Bay as often as possible. He always talked with such pride and affection about his 16 nieces and nephews. Jim made a life in Madison enjoying the theatre, fish fries on Fridays, and dinner with his close circle of friends. Jim was a passionate reader of the National Enquirer, People Magazine, and Architectural Digest and had every copy to prove it. When Jim called and left a message on the phone, you always knew exactly what time it was regardless of your time zone. He spent and enjoyed hours in his garden making it a magical place. He enjoyed showing people his garden masterpiece. When Jim wasn’t gardening, he was a faithful ABC network watcher. If it wasn’t on ABC, Jim probably didn’t watch it. I am sure many of you had the pleasure of enjoying a vodka tonic or two that Jim would make. He picked out the most perfect limes, had a special scrubber and squeezer that would make an amazing drink served with a perfectly folded paper towel. He also had refined taste for Decaf coffee and dark chocolate that he would enjoy daily. For many years Jim looked forward to his annual trek to Mexico with his friends. He loved having the “double bubble” at Los Arcos Hotel. Jim was a true Badgers and Packers fan. He was able to watch the Bears “be owned” by the Packers one last time before he passed away. He would always surprise us with knowing the scores of the Badgers games. Jim was always well groomed, with a pressed shirt and armed with multiple Altoids in his front pocket. He always said “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
Jim was a good soul and a light in this world. He made our journey better, each one of us in a different way. The last years he spent with the Howlett family in Spokane, WA, and was never alone. We would read every letter he received and it would make him smile thinking of you all.
He is survived by his 15 nieces and nephews, many cousins, and the Howlett family of Andy, Liz, Jack (9), and Cooper James (5) of Spokane. He was preceded in death by his siblings: Eugene (Helen) Wojcik, Howard (Alice) Wojcik, and Arlene (Donald) Borck, and a nephew, Lloyd Wojcik.
Jim will be remembered for always saying “it was a pleasure for you to meet me.” It would make us laugh, but was so true. Our lives were richer for having Jim in it. He was so appreciative of what other people did for him and would often say “Thank you thank you thank you.” Most importantly, he always said he loved you and we all know that he truly meant it. My last voicemail from Jim said it all. He finished with “I love you, I love you, I love you.”
Please join the family on Saturday, January 29, from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Marnocha Funeral Home, 186 E. Pulaski St., Pulaski. There will be a celebration of Jim’s life beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the funeral home. A memorial will also be held in Madison, Wisconsin June 12th, fittingly on his birthday.