Obituary: James J. Dickelman

October 15, 1933 ~ April 29, 2023

James (Jim) Joseph Dickelman, 89, of Sturgeon Bay died on April 28, 2023, following a brief illness. He was born in Two Rivers to Charles and Emily (Swoboda) Dickelman on October 15, 1933.

Jim graduated from Manitowoc Lincoln High School in 1953, and soon after joined the Army, serving in France. Following his discharge he returned home, and on April 27, 1957, married Darlene (Dolly) Kukral. The couple lived in rural Manitowoc, where they enjoyed riding and raising horses. Jim was a founding member of the Wayside Rough Riders Saddle Club.

In 1957, Jim began working for Manitowoc Shipbuilding, then transferred to Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay in 1972, staying there until 1987. Jim and Dolly moved to Bath, Maine in 1988, where he helped build Navy Cruisers and Destroyers at Bath Iron Works. In 1990, Jim and Dolly returned to Sturgeon Bay where he worked at Palmer Johnson Yachts until his retirement in 2009 at the age of 76.

Jim was an avid flyer and private pilot. Just as he was proud of his Belgian heritage, he also took great pride in his little red Ercoupe. He was a member of the EAA in Oshkosh and was a member of its Eagle Squadron. He helped establish EAA Chapter 630 in Sturgeon Bay. He also belonged to the Civil Air Patrol. Jim found great delight in giving children their first plane ride.

Jim is survived by Dolly, his wife of 66 years, daughters Kay (Jeff) Swagel, Lori (Michael) Raye, son Charles (Chip) Dickelman, sisters, Sharon Rilatos and Pat Herber, and brother-in-law Terry Kukral. He is further survived by 7 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, nephews, a niece, cousins and special friends.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, daughter-in-law Bridget Dickelman, brother and sister-in-law Jim and Bernice Kukral, brother-in-law Phil Rilatos as well as other family and friends.

At Jim’s request there will be no public visitation. Forbes Funeral Home and Cremations is assisting the family.

Jim will forever be remembered for his lifelong kindness, laughter and curiosity, but most of all, for the love he shared with his family.