Cover photo for James H. Vercouteren's Obituary
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James H. Vercouteren

June 9, 1934 — March 16, 2024


James H. Vercouteren

James H. Vercouteren, formerly of Cleveland, WI and West Chicago, IL, passed away Saturday, March 16, 2024, at Lakehouse in Sheboygan with his family by his side. He was 89 years old.

James was born June 9, 1934, the son of James Peter and Helen (Honold) Vercouteren. He grew up in Sheboygan, graduating from Central High School in 1953. He went on to study at Columbia Bible College in South Carolina and Trinity College in Chicago, IL where he graduated with a degree in music and education. He went on to earn graduate degrees in education as well.

On June 17, 1960, James was united in marriage with Karen L. Rigenhagen at Sheboygan eFree Church.

Over the course of 37 years, James impacted countless lives as an elementary school teacher at Munhall School in St. Charles, IL. What started as a hobby taking photos of his children became much more, and soon James’ weekends were filled with his part-time job as a professional photographer.

Following his retirement in 1999, he and Karen moved to Cleveland, WI.

A member of Sheboygan eFree Church, James sang with the choir, was on several committees and belonged to Forever Faithful, the elder adult ministry. A skilled singer and musician, James was a member of Lakeshore Chorale and the Sheboygan Symphony Chorus, served as the director for the Men of Harmony, and was the choir director for most of the churches he attended.

Always the educator, James looked forward to time spent with his grandchildren when they could do “science experiments” at Sheboygan Rifle and Pistol Club. He enjoyed hunting, building and home repair, training and showing dogs, bee keeping, and many other hobbies. 

James is survived by his wife of 63 years, Karen, and their children: Ellen (Robert) Oldenburg of Manitowoc, Timothy James (Deborah) Vercouteren of Lynchburg, VA, and Brett (Julie) Vercouteren of Gilberts, IL. He is further survived by nine grandchildren: Jean (Barry) Garner-Steel, Danielle Chaplin, Matthew Hubbard and James Jefferson, Ian, Emma, Joshua, Rebecca and Katherine Vercouteren; great-grandchildren Eleanor, Oliver, Alex, Ashley, Jacob and Lilah; sisters Beth Vercouteren and Kay (Jon) Malson; 3 nephews; other relatives and friends.

James is preceded in death by his parents James (Evelyn) and Helen, son-in-law Danny Hubbard and grandson Nathaniel Austin Hubbard.

Funeral Services will be held at 2 PM on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Sheboygan eFree Church, 1710 N. 15th St. in Sheboygan. Pastor Jon MacDonald will officiate. The family will receive visitors at the church on Saturday from 12PM-2 PM. He will be laid to rest at Lutheran Cemetery in Sheboygan.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Sheboygan E-Free church, and the Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice organization.

The family would like to thank the staffs of Sharon S. Richardson and the Lakehouse community for their compassionate and loving care.

Wenig Funeral Home – Sheboygan Falls (920-467-3431) is assisting the family with arrangements. Please visit for online condolences. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James H. Vercouteren, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Saturday, March 23, 2024

12:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, March 23, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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