James ‘Jim’ A. Robinson

James “Jim” A. Robinson, 89, of Weston, Wis., died of cancer on Wednesday, March 1, 2023, at Rennes Health and Rehab Center in Weston under Aspirus Hospice care.

Jim was born April 16, 1933, in Cornell, Wis., to James S. and Nadine (née Colburn) Robinson. In 1939, the family moved to Heafford Junction, Wis., where Jim’s parents built Robinson’s Texaco station and resort just off of old U.S. Highway 51 on the shores of Lake Nokomis. Jim attended a one-room schoolhouse through eighth grade and then moved on to Tomahawk High School, graduating in 1951. After working odd jobs for a year, Jim enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, returning home on leave after basic and technical training (aircraft maintenance) to marry his high school sweetheart, Betty Hansen, in 1953. The newly wed couple then embarked on a life of frequent moves, as Jim’s Air Force career took them all about the States and twice to England, with Jim doing a tour of duty in Vietnam in 1966-67. Early in his career, he worked when he could at local flying clubs in exchange for private flying lessons, soloing in both Piper J-3 Cub and de Havilland Tiger Moth aircraft. Color blindness prevented him from pursuing flying further.

Jim retired from the Air Force after 20 years, having attained the rank of a Senior Master Sergeant, and the family—Jim and Betty had had three children along the way—moved back to Wisconsin, where Jim attended Nicolet College in Rhinelander before settling in Weston in 1974 and embarking on a new career at Zimpro, Inc., in Rothschild. Jim retired from Zimpro after 19 years, having risen from draftsman to quality control manager in that time. After retirement, Jim and Betty took to traveling about the state and country in their motorhome, often visiting old friends and places from their Air Force days.

Jim had a lifelong interest in cars and aircraft and almost anything else with an engine or motor in it, and he enjoyed playing with technological “toys” of all kinds: radios, gas-engine-powered model aircraft, televisions, tape recorders, cameras, clocks/watches, computers, etc. Jim wasn’t satisfied just playing with such toys, however, he needed to understand them: if he could build it, he’d build it; if he could fix it, he’d fix it; and if he could take it apart, he’d take it apart just to see how it worked. Leisure time would find him reading service and repair manuals as other people read Louis L’Amour novels, and no schematic diagram ever escaped his scrutiny.

Jim is survived by son James M. Robinson (wife Judy), son John Robinson, daughter Wendy Robinson, granddaughter Jennifer Robinson, grandson Allen Robinson, grandson Eric Robinson, and sister Judith Sweet-Rydberg.

Jim was preceded in death by parents James and Nadine, wife Betty, and brother Richard Robinson.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, March 9, 2023, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Brainard Funeral Home and Cremation Center, Everest Chapel, 5712 Memorial Ct., Weston, Wis. A short service will begin at 2 p.m., with Military Honors to follow. Burial will be at the Greenwood Cemetery in Tomahawk at a later date. Brainard Funeral Home is assisting the family. Online condolences may be given at www.brainardfuneral.com.

The family requests that no flowers or gifts be sent.

Scroll to Top