James R McGath came into this world on a Friday and left this world on a Thursday evening lovingly surrounded by his wife and four daughters. His sunrise was December 3, 1943, and his sunset was October 21, 2021. Jim was welcomed by many loved ones, especially his mother Ruth McGath (nee Alderman) and his adopted son, Dean McGath.
He graced so many lives, most special to him was his wife and mother to his children, Diana McGath (nee Robinson). He loved his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren unconditionally. He is survived by his daughters, Erin (Bret) Meyer, Sarah (Eric) Zwicky, Robyn McGath and Kelly McGath (Matt Russ). His grandchildren, Andy (Vanessa) Meyer, Shannon Meyer, Lucas and Allison Zwicky, James, Olivia and Collin Russ. He was also blessed with three beautiful great-grandchildren, Ethan, Elijah and Rowan Meyer. He was very proud to be their “Grandpy.”
He was also a brother, uncle, cousin and friend to countless others. And lovingly called “McGoo” by many.
Jim came from humble beginnings and was anything but typical. He was spirited and kept everyone wondering, “What is Jim doing?” He was wild, vibrant and the big brother to Jane and Mike. Always a flirt, he broke many hearts and left people always wanting to know him better.
After high school he volunteered for Vietnam. He served with honor from 1966-1968 in the United States Army 1st Air Cavalry Division Bravo Company 1/8. He was always extremely creative, and it was in Vietnam where he started to document his experience as a combat artist.
He went on to attend college on the GI Bill and later became a very successful and award-winning Art Director and Commercial Artist. He married the love of his life, Diana on March 31, 1978, and the rest is history. They built a beautiful log home on Big Cedar Lake, lovingly called “Fiddler’s Green” where they raised their children. Jim was proud to be a father, husband and Vietnam Veteran. He loved to share his stories and his children’s accomplishments with anyone willing to listen.
He was a member with the VFW and the Cedar Lake Yacht Club, where he served on the Board of Directors and was a charter member of the F-Fleet. He would be humbled and honored to know that the CLYC has placed the flag at half-staff in his honor. He proudly served as a Commissioner of the Big Cedar Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District for 24 years.
He was loved by so many people. He inspired many and he lived his life authentically and unapologetically. He succeeded and continued to succeed when so many told him he couldn’t or wouldn’t. He always pressed on and never settled. He has left a huge space in many hearts. To know Jim was a joy, an eye-roll, a laugh. To love and be loved by Jim was to feel like the most important person in the world, it was an incredible blessing. He was a safe place to land and a voice of reassurance. His presence was a force, and he lived his life for his family.
We will miss the husband, father, grandpy, brother, uncle and friend. His story has not ended, it has merely just begun. “See you later alligator… after while crocodile.” Until we meet again. 1-4-3.
We welcome all friends and loved ones to donate to the Alzheimer’s Association in his honor.
A Funeral Service in Remembrance of Jim will be held on Saturday, October 30, 2021 at 12:00 Noon at Fifth Avenue United Methodist Church (323 S 5th Avenue - West Bend, WI 53095).
The family will greet relatives and friends on Saturday, October 30 at Church from 10:00 am until the time of service.
Burial with Full Military Honors at Washington County Memorial Park on Saturday, October 30.
Myrhum-Patten Funeral & Cremation Service has been entrusted with Jim’s arrangements. Please consider signing our online guest book (www.myrhum-patten.com) to share your condolences with the family.
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