James Edgar Macklem, 94, of Beloit, WI, died on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 at his home.
He was born on July 21, 1925 in Beloit, WI, the son of Charles and Grace (Pike) Macklem. Jim was Valedictorian of his 1943 Beloit High School class and went on to Beloit College for a few months before being drafted into the U.S. Army. Jim served in Germany and the Philippines and received a Purple Heart upon returning home in 1946. Though admitted to The United States Military Academy at West Point, he returned to Beloit resuming his studies at Beloit College. Jim graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1949 with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and physics.
After college, Jim took a job with Daniel Construction Company of Birmingham, AL, working on the Prudential Building in Chicago among other projects. He left Daniel Construction to pursue a graduate degree at the Institute of Paper Chemistry in Appleton, WI. He received a Ph.D. from the Institute of Paper Chemistry, which was affiliated with Lawrence College at the time. At Lawrence, he met his wife of nearly 60 years, Rachael Bizal.
Jim was a third-generation employee of the Beloit Ironworks, which later became the Beloit Corporation. From 1960 until 1992, he worked in several capacities: research, sales, and finally as the head of the Estimating Department. In the paper business he travelled extensively in Europe and the U.S.; throughout his life he kept abreast of advances in paper machine technology and was a member of Tappi (Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry).
Jim loved learning, constantly seeking knowledge in both his chosen industry and in his many interests including music and the arts. Music was an abiding interest; Jim played the piano in his early years and was an avid follower of the opera and continued to learn about all of the arts. He was a life-long member of the First Congregational Church of Beloit where he served on both the Board of Trustees and the Board of Deacons. Jim was dedicated to the mission of the Salvation Army, where he was awarded an Advisory Board Life Membership. He was a member of the Beloit Country Club and the Sigma Chi Epsilon Fraternity.
His profound love of his family and his pride in his children and grandchildren showed in both large and small ways. He is survived by his wife, Rachael; daughters, Elizabeth (Joe) Nathan of Milford, PA, Catherine (Doug) Field of Los Gatos, CA, and Mary (Eugene Montague) Macklem of Silver Spring, MD; grandchildren, Gwen and James Nathan, Ellen, Margaret, and John Field, Roisin, Eoin and Cian Montague. He also cherished his nieces, nephews, their families, and his cousins.
He was predeceased by his parents and his sisters, Grace Macklem Stabell and Helen Macklem Eldred.
Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 in the First Congregational Church, 801 Bushnell St., Beloit, WI, with Pastor Kendall Nordstrom officiating. Burial will be in East Lawn Cemetery. Visitation of remembrance will be from 10 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. Wednesday in the church. Daley Murphy Wisch & Associates Funeral Home and Crematorium, 2355 Cranston Rd., Beloit, WI, assisted the family with arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in his name to First Congregational Church or the Salvation Army.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.daleymurphywisch.com