Memorial Service1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Sunday August 14, 2022
W10516 US Highway 10
Celebration of Life2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Sunday August 14, 2022
W10516 US Highway 10
James Allen Tobias, age 70, following a period of declining health died unexpectedly from cancer on June 23, 2022.
To quote the movie Jeremiah Johnson:“Great hunter, yes? … Yes. Fine figure of a man, yes? Yes? … Yes. That is all you need to know for now.” If you want to know a bit more about this man I love please read on.
He was born in Amery, Wisconsin and is a graduate of Prescott High School. He served two years in the military. After his stint in the army he completed a degree in gunsmithing which became a lifelong hobby. He eventually became a finish carpenter, though he always thought flying would be the best job in the world. He tried convincing everyone he knew to fly. His niece Bryar finally accepted the challenge. Eventually Jim earned his private pilot’s license under the tutelage of Rob Siefert who became a lifelong friend. Flying into the Oshkosh Air Show with a friend was an unforgettable experience for him but he probably had the most fun dropping flour bombs on the Red Wing Airport. I am sure that now he is a fighter jet pilot/astronaut with a multi-purpose international license to fly anything anywhere.
Looking at books littering Jim’s nightstand tells you how he spent his time and what his passions and hobbies were: Hunting Big Woods Bucks, Big Bucks the Benoit Way, Trapline, Precision Shooting at 1,000 Yards, Ammo and Ballistics, Private Pilot Manual, Fly Fisherman’s Primer, Tactics for Trout, Modern Streamers and his fly fishing bible: In The Ring of The Rise. He spent his youth outdoors becoming an avid outdoorsman. His grandparent’s cabin in Barnes became his stomping grounds. It was there he honed his fishing, shooting and hunting skills. Every deer season of his life was spent in Barnes. Many of those years were spent dressed in orange standing back to back with his pal Bill Riley. He often said if he had to choose only one sport, it would be the deer rifle season. He kept a journal of every deer season. It is a bittersweet read going back in time with him. I noticed one comment that stated, “Bill missed a buck! Says he has an excuse”. Jim hunted with Bill his entire life. Their hunts included elk in Colorado, deer in Maine and moose in Alberta. The Alberta moose hunt was very special. He made a memorable shot, a lifelong friend of his guide, and brought home lots of stories. Hunting the “43” Road on his bicycle brought him a bit of attention and his first introduction to the Red Plaid Gang (RPG). He was thrilled to become an honorary member (patch included). The RPG always greeted him as “Bicycle Jim”.
For Jim hunting was about the challenges; miserable weather, deep snow, lack of snow, strong winds, long shots, tight groups, elusive animals, long stalks, every challenge meant a better story. He could never be happy with a hunt unless it was achieved under his standards of fair play. He was proud to have grown up in Wisconsin a stone’s throw from rivers, lakes, and streams. He was forever grateful to the many generous Wisconsin landowners that gave him access to their property to hunt and fish. He spent many winters driving the countryside searching for fox and coyote. His friends Ralph, Corn, and Cole often by his side. Jim loved hanging with Cole, he was young and a great audience, an apt pupil. Jim shared story after story, and Cole being five believed all of them. Jim loved rifles and so did his pal Ralph. They were constantly reloading and improving their barrels. Every land, groove, twist, grain and load meant something. They loved making long bomb shots; some were well over 800 yards, others were over his shoulder holding a mirror.Going for a drive with Jim meant you would spot a critter to admire. I called his dazzling blue eyes “finding eyes”, though he often said his pal John Magee had the finding eyes.
If you knew him, you would remember his voice, his mustache, his intellect, and how damn handsome he was. Once you knew him, a secret part of you wanted to be him. Jim was a rockstar, fisherman, trapper, welder, artist and storyteller. He was a great hunter and a fine figure of a man.
Jim is survived by his wife Jeanne, mother, Pat Tobias, siblings: Jack (Mary) Tobias, Judy (Gene) Skenandore, and Jeanne Ann (Kent) Voelker, along with three nieces and six nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, LaVerne, and grandparents, Harold and Ella Schnack.
On Sunday, August 14, 2022, please join us at the Ridgetop:W10516 US-10, Prescott, WI 54021 for the Memorial Service: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Celebration of Life: 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. The family looks forward to gathering with you.
Services are entrusted to O’Connell Family Funeral Homes and Cremation Services of Prescott, www.oconnellfuneralservices.com, 715-262-5404