James P. Czajkowski

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The Honorable James (“Jim”) P. Czajkowski, 74, of Wauzeka, passed away peacefully on Friday, April 2, 2021 at his home and surrounded by his family, following a valiant battle with lymphoma. 

Jim was born on March 16, 1947 in Milwaukee, the son of Leon and Irene (Frontczak) Czajkowski. He graduated from Don Bosco High School in 1965 and thereafter commenced his undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. On June 20, 1970, Jim married his high school sweetheart, Joyce Urbaniak, at St. Matthias Catholic Church in Milwaukee. Jim completed his undergraduate and law studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received his Juris Doctorate degree in 1971. Following graduation, Jim served on active duty for four years as a Judge Advocate General in the United States Air Force. In the fall of 1975, Jim and Joyce moved to rural Wauzeka, and Jim joined the Scheffer and Queram law firm. He served one year as Crawford County District Attorney, and then returned to the firm. Jim practiced law in Prairie du Chien for 35 years, during which time he provided advice, counsel, humor, and comfort to innumerable clients. While practicing law, Jim strived to emulate the highest in professional and ethical standards, an effort that was recognized by his peers when he was appointed to serve on the Wisconsin Bar District VII ethics committee. In May of 2010, Jim was appointed, and then elected, as Crawford County Circuit Court Judge, a position he held for six years until his retirement in 2016. While serving as Judge, he was deliberate, conscientious, and respectful to all. Jim was very active in our regional community. Over the years, Jim served with multiple organizations, including the Crawford County Bar Association, Prairie du Chien Rotary Club, Prairie du Chien Area Chamber of Commerce, and Community Development Alternatives. An avid conservationist, Jim took great pride in serving on the Mississippi Valley Conservancy board, the Mississippi River Regional Planning Commission, and the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway board, a position to which he was appointed by Governor Evers. Jim was also a board member and volunteer for the Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum in Spooner. Jim was an avid reader and his conservation mindedness was heavily influenced by Aldo Leopold’s “Sand County Almanac” and works by Sigurd Olson, John Muir, and Henry David Thoreau. For many years, Jim worked tirelessly to restore a remnant oak savanna and native prairie that was identified on his farm; a slow process about which he frequently told his family, “I will never see the results of these efforts.” Jim enjoyed long walks on his farm with his dogs. He was a self-trained woodworker and his favorite pastime was building and paddling wooden canoes. He built five wooden canvas canoes and four wooden kayaks, ensuring that he built a vessel for each of his immediate family members. 

Jim is survived by his wife of 50 years Joyce; his daughters Lara (Michael) Czajkowski Higgins and their children Logan, Tessa, and Kye; and Nadia (Keven) Czajkowski-Schepp. 

He was preceded in death by his parents.

A Celebration of Life will be Sunday, May 16 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on the lawn of the Villa Louis Historical Site. Private interment with military honors will be in the Dutch Ridge Cemetery in Wauzeka. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Mississippi Valley Conservancy. Donations can be made by calling (608) 784-3606 or at the following link: https://connect.clickandpledge.com/w/Form/63e08da3-e150-4b06-a653-6cb751... 

The Garrity Funeral Home of Prairie du Chien is assisting the family. 

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