James “Jim” V. Kivioja, age 75, of Escanaba, passed away Friday, July 23, 2021 at Theda Regional Care Center in Appleton, WI. He was born on March 7, 1946 in Escanaba, the son of Verner and Thelma (Orquist) Kivioja. Jim was raised and attended school in Wells, MI and was a 1964 graduate of Escanaba High School. Following graduation, Jim enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and served his country until he was honorably discharged in 1967. He worked most of his life as a truck driver. One would often find him driving through Ludington Park trying to be the first one on a snowy day. Jim loved watching local races – whether it was on a dirt or paved track. He enjoyed going to old car shows and cruising the backroads. Jim was kind to everyone, funny, loved to tease, and a character that would talk to everyone – he had the gift of gab. Jim especially loved his kids and grandkids and would do anything for them. He was a simple man and a proud Army Vet. Jim will be missed by all who were fortunate to know him.
Jim V. Kivioja is survived by his daughter, Jennifer (Jeff) Collegnon of Combined Locks, WI; son, Jeff (Jennifer) Kivioja of Howard, WI; grandsons, Jesse (Emalie) Kivioja, and Jared (Harley Fornof) Kivioja both of Escanaba; granddaughter, Reyan Kivioja of Howard, WI; brothers, Dennis Kivioja of Wells, MI, and Bob Kivioja of Cornell, MI; sister, Judy Possi of Rock; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
In addition to his parents, Jim was preceded in death by his sister, Edna Champion; brother-in-law, Roger Champion; former sister-in-law, Val Kivioja; and brother-in-law, Doug Possi.
Visitation will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 3, 2021 at the Anderson Funeral Home in Escanaba. Military Honors will be conducted at 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, in the Anderson Funeral Home Chapel by the Delta County Veterans Council. Closing remarks by the Kivioja family will take place at the conclusion of the Military Honors. A luncheon will be held following the services. Burial will take place in Rock Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials please be directed to the Upper Peninsula Honor Flight or the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King, WI.
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