James (Jim) Sartori

James (Jim) Sartori left this earth peacefully at home in Elroy, Wis., in the presence of his loving family on June 15, 2022.

Jim was born Oct. 24, 1928, in Joliet, Ill., to Anthony and Irene (Fehr) Sartori. At the age of 15, his family moved to Camp Douglas, Wis. Jim graduated from Tomah High School in 1946. A subsequent move to Kendall would change the course of his life. It was there that Jim met and fell in love with Joan Sheridan, beginning a love story that lasted nearly seven decades.

Jim and Joan were married Sept. 4, 1954, at which time they moved to Elroy. Jim began his career as a milk distributor, and in 1967, he established Sartori’s Quality Foods, which he would own and operate until his retirement in 1993. The purchase of the grocery store was a wise move for the growing family, as their seven children not only had to eat, but also proved to be a continuous source of cheap labor.

He and Joan enjoyed socializing, golf, cards, and traveling with their large circle of friends and extended family. Jim was very engaged in the community. He served on the boards of the Royall School District and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Foundation. He was an active member of St. Patrick’s Parish, the Knights of Columbus, the Elroy Area Advancement Corporation, the Elroy Fire & Ambulance Department, and the Tourism Committee. He was a member of the Elroy Lions Club for 68 years, earning the distinction of the longest-serving Lion in Wisconsin. Jim served proudly as the Mayor of Elroy from 1994–2002. No one can doubt his sincere passion for the City of Elroy.

Above all, Jim’s lasting legacy will be his family. His children will remember first and foremost his love and adoration for their mom. All the kids knew that, inevitably, every toast or prayer he made would end with words of praise for her. It was this love that was the rock of the family. 

Jim was a gentle, kind, sweet and generous man of integrity.

He is survived by his loving wife, Joan, and his seven children, Steve (Chris), Terry (Beth), Annie Bacon, Sue (Mike) Killips, Kathy (Mike) Hankard, Jane (John) Feller and Barb (Nami) Zarvan. He is further survived by 17 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. 

A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. Monday, June 20, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Elroy. Visitation will be held at Picha Funeral Home in Elroy on Sunday, June 19, from 4–6 p.m. and at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of mass on Monday. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Elroy Area Chamber of Commerce or the Elroy Fire Department. Please share your memories of Jim at www.pichafuneralhomes.com.

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