Cover photo for James Graven's Obituary
James Graven Profile Photo
1950 James 2020

James Graven

May 28, 1950 — August 27, 2020

James W. Graven, 70, of Random Lake, passed away on Thursday, Aug. 27, at Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice in Sheboygan Falls, where he had been a resident for the past 56 days. Diagnosed with Stage IV kidney cancer in 2013, Jim outlived his initial two-year prognosis by more than five years. He was born on May 28, 1950, in Cedar Grove, the son of the late Winson and Helen (Huibregtse) Graven. He graduated from Cedar Grove High School and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. On June 19, 1971, he married his high school sweetheart Joan Nyhof in Cedar Grove. Most of Jim's working career was spent in public accounting, and most of those years were with Schenck SC, in the Appleton, Green Bay and Sheboygan offices. He retired from Schenck as a partner in 2010. He was running his own CFO firm when cancer forced him into full retirement in 2013. Thanks to God's grace, a great medical team and healthy living under the watchful eye of his wife Joan, he rarely looked "sick" and they managed to make the best of this forced retirement. They filled it with travel and enjoying a lake home, all while fighting cancer. They greatly enjoyed their time together, the highlights being two special river cruises through Holland.Jim lived his Christian faith and was a man of integrity. He was smart, reliable, kind, slow to anger and quick to give you his time. Jim would accept a Friday night fish dinner in exchange for doing complicated tax work for elderly relatives. Many of his relatives, both blood and through marriage, trusted him to help with their finances and estates, and he applied his full range of knowledge and expertise like it was his job. He was always ready to help his children with house projects and excelled at over-engineering decks, storage shelving and workbenches. However, the greatest gift he gave of himself was unconditional love to his wife. He was a member of Hope Church in Sheboygan. At various churches, he served as elder, deacon and trustee. He was also a member of different community organizations including Safe Harbor, the Sheboygan Chamber of Commerce and Mead Public Library.Jim is survived by his wife, Joan; a daughter Anne (R.J.) Pirlot of Middleton; and a son Peter (Laura) Graven of Milwaukee; and four grandsons. He is further survived by two sisters, Patti Dockendorff and Peggy (Terry) Lemkuil; and a brother, Dennis (Diane) Graven.Many thanks to Dr. Mark Bettag and his staff. Together, they helped Jim live well through more than seven years of kidney cancer.A private funeral service will be held. Burial will take place at Presbyterian Cemetery.  Memorial gifts are not expected. Instead, please consider a direct gift to your local food pantry or the American Cancer Society.For online condolences and additional information please visit www.wenigfh.com. The Wenig Funeral Home of Oostburg (920-564-2771) is serving the Graven family with arrangements.
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