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“Donna and family, sorry to hear about Jim. He was mt first friend when we lived in Racine. I will miss him. Adam ”
1 of 5 | Posted by: Adam Armaganian - FL

“The Marathon County Labor Council would like to Thank Jim for everything he has done for Labor and for the various projects he helped the Labor...Read More »
2 of 5 | Posted by: Randy Radtke - Wausau, WI

“June 25, 2012We are great admirers of Jim -- his work and his work ethic. Many of Jim's accomplishments, aided by his wife Donna, will be praised...Read More »
3 of 5 | Posted by: David Newby and Kathleen McElroy - WI

“To the Lorence Family, I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Mr. Lorence. I have fond memories of spending a lot of time at your house on...Read More »
4 of 5 | Posted by: Kathy Treece-Schultz - Greenville, SC

“Chris, sorry to hear this and for your loss. I remember many nights at the Wausau Library studying in your 'dads book room'. ”
5 of 5 | Posted by: Jackie Hemmrich - Wauwatosa, WI


James J. Lorence, 74, Wausau, died Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at Ministry St. Clare's Hospital, Weston. He was born November 18, 1937 in Racine, son of the late Leonard F. and Ruth (Parmenter) Lorence. On August 20, 1960 he married Donna Nyiri in Racine. She survives. James was a Professor of History in the University of Wisconsin Colleges for 35 years and with the University System of Georgia, Gainsville College for 5 years, where he was named the first Eminent Scholar of History Chair. During his time at the University of Wisconsin Marathon County, he received approximately 40 grants and fellowships and had over 90 books, articles, reviews, reports, guides, papers and presentations published. He was named the Carneigie/CASE Wisconsin Professor of the Year and has been awarded the Beveridge Family Teaching Prize by the American Historical Association and the State Historical Society of Wisconsin Award of Merit. James published several scholarly books including "Woodlot and Ballot Box Marathon County in the Twentieth Century, co-authored with Howard Kleuter," "The Suppression of Salt of the Earth: How Hollywood, Big Labor, and Politicians Blacklisted a Movie in the American Cold War," "A Hard Journey: The Life of Don West," and "Screening America: United States History Through Film Since 1900." He was active in progressive politics in Marathon County and he edited Dave Obey's memoir. Among his many accomplishments were the Governor's Award for Excellence in Public Humanities Scholarship, the Kenneth Kingery Booklength Scholarly Writing Award for 1999 and the Robert G. Athearn Award for the best book on Twentieth Century West. He was a life member of both the UWM Alumni Association and the Wisconsin Alumni Association. Some of his other memberships included the American Historical Association, Wisconsin Historical Society, Marathon County Historical Society, Georgia Historical Society, Organization of the American Historians and the Roosevelt Institute. Jim previously served on the Wausau Landmarks Commission, the board of Headstart and was still serving on the board of the Wisconsin Labor History Society. Along with his wife, he delivered mobile meals for a few years. Teaching was his love and he found time for everything else. Some of his interests besides teaching, researching and writing included the White Sox whom he followed since he was a boy. He also followed the Badgers, Packers and Bucks. Jim enjoyed fishing, theater and traveling for research while always allowing a couple of days for sightseeing. Most important to him was his family and spending time with his wife, daughters and grandchildren. Survivors include his wife, Donna, Wausau; two children, Christine (Ross) Hoffman, and Juliet (Emery) Van Price, both of Wausau; two grandchildren, Connie Lorence and Nikolas Simonson; two great-grandchildren, Destiny and Isabella. He was preceded in death by his parents. The Celebration of Life Memorial will be 2:00 p.m. Friday, June 29, 2012 at First Universalist Unitarian Church, 504 Grant Street, Wausau. Visitation will follow the service. Burial will be in the Mound Cemetery, Racine, at a later date. The family wishes to extend their sincere appreciation to the doctors, especially Dr. Onitilo, nurses and CNA's at the Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield Clinic Cancer Center and Ministry St. Clare's Hospital who gave compassionate care to Jim. Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, 3400 Stewart Avenue, Wausau, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com