Wisconsin loses two industry leaders

James Robert Bluemel Sr. and Shelley Ryan both recently passed away.

January 24, 2014
Industry News

James Robert Bluemel Sr.
April 3rd, 1929 - January 18th, 2014

Age 84, of Wind Lake, found peace in his sleep at home on January 18, 2014. He was a wonderful husband, amazing father and father-in-law, fantastic grandfather and great-grandfather, true friend, successful businessman, local politician, mentor, dedicated Christian, Red Cross volunteer and war veteran. Jim is survived by his wife of 58 years, Gladys, nee Luettgen, Dave and Pat Bluemel, Gary and Nancy Bluemel, Jim Jr. and Sandy Bluemel, Susie and Chuck Schuyler, Sandy and Orlando Pajarola, Mike and Lori Bluemel, as well as 34 grand and great-grandchildren.

When Jim was 21 years old he served his country for two years in the Korean war. He was a very proud soldier and dedicated countryman. After returning, Jim and Gladys were married in April of 1955. Jim was a true entrepreneur and they started Bluemel’s Tree & Landscaping Service that very same year out of their backyard. Jim had the basics to run a successful business; fair pricing and excellent service. But he had more. His competitive advantage was his personality. He was just a great guy. Everyone liked working with him. The business flourished. Soon they were able to buy land and build an actual store. He was a well-known and much respected businessman in the community. Much to his joy, he was able to pass his business on to two of his sons.

Once retired, Jim found another true passion; helping those in need. For over 10 years he provided his voluntary services to the Red Cross, where he helped thousands of people in need after catastrophes had struck.

In his free time Jim loved to be with his family and friends doing all kinds of different things; e.g. golfing, hunting, fishing, boating, following the Packers, organizing the annual pig roast, taking fun camping vacations, or just having lots of laughs together while enjoying life.

Memorial visitation will be held on Saturday, January 25 at St. Claire’s Church, 7616 Fritz St, Wind Lake from 9-11am, followed by a memorial service and a full military salute. In lieu of flowers a donation to the Alzheimer’s prevention research would be tremendously appreciated.

As Abraham Lincoln said, “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, rather the life in the years.” If measured by those terms, Jim lived to be 1,000.


Shelley Ryan (Ford)

August 6, 1956 - January 16, 2014

Shelley (Ford) Ryan passed away Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, with her family at her side. Shelley was born Aug. 6, 1956, in Carbondale, Ill., to Neil and Jane Ford. She moved to Middleton as a young girl, graduated from Middleton High School, than she attended and graduated from UW-Madison.

She worked at Wisconsin Public Radio (ECB) for a number of years before finding her true love in plants in the gardening world; she also found her husband at WPR, Dennie, whom she married Oct. 12, 1985. She became a Master Gardener and worked at a number of different nurseries in the area before her idea of a television show for Public TV that would cover the wants, needs and questions of the state of Wisconsin. Please check the Wisconsin Public Television website at WPT.org for a beautiful, written tribute to 'THE WISCONSIN GARDENER." This program, she hosted and produced for 21 years. I must say Shelley loved the plants, but she loved the people of the plant world even more. She retired last year for health reasons.

She is survived by her husband, Dennie; her son, Kably; her parents, Neil (Peg) Ford and Jane (David) Cornwall; a sister, Maureen Ford Gregor (Drew); a brother, Greg Ford; a nephew and niece; and a grandniece; also, her much loved pets, Moxley and Rowan.

There will be a private family funeral service Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, at the SPRINGDALE LUTHERAN CHURCH with Pastor Jeff Jacobs officiating; and a luncheon will follow, burial will be in the German Valley Cemetery. There will be a public memorial at a later date.

In lieu of flowers and plants, donations may be made to an account established at the Heartland Credit Union in the name of Kably Ford Ryan Educational Fund.

The family would like to thank everyone at the 8 Atrium, Meriter Hospital, and Agrace HospiceCare in Fitchburg.

Dear, Dear Shelley I will love you forever - Dennie.

The Ellestad Camacho Funeral Home, 500 N. 8th St., Mount Horeb, Wis., is serving the family.