Obit: Smola, James W. (1936 - 2015)

Contact: Robert Lipprandt 

Surnames: Dietrich, Gelhaus, Johnas, Kropp, Lekies, Loertscher, Lugo, Neumann, Neumueller, Scheithauer, Smola, Sova

----Source: The Star News (Medford, WI) 7/30/2015

Smola, James “Jim” W. (12 APR 1936 - 28 JUL 2015)

James “Jim” W. Smola, 79, Rib Lake, died on Tuesday, July 28 at his residence.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1 at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Rib Lake, with Rev. Joseph Dietrich officiating. Interment will take place at St. Peter’s Lutheran Cemetery in the town of Greenwood, where full military honors will be performed by the Rib Lake Military Honors Team.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, July 31 and also from 9 to 10:45 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 1 at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church. Pallbearers are his grandsons Matthew Neumueller, Patrick and Gabriel Gelhaus, Blake Smola, Michael Johnas, Cole Loertscher and Ashton Smola.

Hemer Funeral Service of Medford and Rib Lake assisted the family with arrangements.

James Smola was born on April 12, 1936 in the town of Rietbrock, Marathon County, to the late George and Clara E. (Kropp) Smola, Sr. He graduated from Rib Lake High School.
His marriage to Alice G. Scheithauer, who survives, took place on May 28, 1960 at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church.

Jim served in the U.S. Army from 1955-1959. After his return from the service, Jim was a heavy equipment operator for various companies in the area for road construction for a number of years. They then owned a hobby farm in the town of Greenwood and also owned and operated Smola Brother’s Logging with his brother, George, and Smola Trucking until his retirement in 1998. Jim enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening, bowling, dartball and meeting with his friends to play cribbage. He loved being outdoors, nature and wildlife. Most of all Jim enjoyed being with his family and attending and watching his grandchildren’s events. He was a member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church and served on St. Peter’s Church Board, town of Greenwood board and Taylor Electric Board.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by: children, Valerie (Joe) Sova of Medford, Linda (Chuck) Gelhaus of Medford, Daniel Smola of Rib Lake, Sharon (John) Johnas of Medford, Joanne (Monte) Loertscher of Medford, and James (Rachel) Smola of Stevens Point; brothers and sisters, Lorraine (Frank) Lugo of Athens, George (Janet) Smola Jr. of Athens, Edward (Carla) Smola of Athens and Jill (Allen) Lekies of Athens; 20 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Ronald Joseph Smola, on Nov. 17, 1990; a grandson, Gregory Johnas, in 1989; and a son-in-law, Randall Neumann, in 1984.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the family to be designated at a later date. For online condolences, please visit



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