James HoctelSeptember 1, 1941 ~ May 25, 2017 (age 75)
MISHAWAKA - James Hoctel, 75, of Lake Geneva, WI, passed away on May 25, 2017. Jim was born September 1, 1941, in South Bend, IN, to the late Clarence and Vera Hoctel. He was preceded in death by his wife, Diana L Hoctel. He is survived by his favorite sister, Mary Rita Cox, his son, James Hoctel, his daughters, Ellen Hoctel (Jason), Julia Williams, Jane Hoctel (Dewayne), Jennifer Hoctel, many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends too numerous to count. Jim lived a life well lived! He was a good husband, lovable friend and father, and accomplished casual conversationalist! He spent his early years in Mishawaka, Indiana. He often recalled the time his sister taught him about pirates and walking the plank, of how he learned to drink beer at the Polish club, a skill he later used on nights out with his friends and cousin, Pat (Inge) Burke. And recounted on numerous occasions about the time he saw his future wife from across the room and told his friend “that's the girl I'm going to marry!” Jim married that girl, Diana, and together they raised 5 children and shared a life of love, happiness, and more good times than bad. Jim truly loved life! He definitely lived it to the fullest and on his own terms. Jim loved sports and was a loyal Bears fan who secretly liked the Packers! He also enjoyed cooking and deemed all meat BBQ worthy. His love of cooking may have stemmed from his love of food - Popeyes and Little Debbie are surely mourning. Jim loved his country, served as an Army reservist, and came from a family history of military service. He inspired the same commitment in others to include two children who also served. He never missed an opportunity to vote and remained loyal to his party. He advocated for his coworkers and served as a union steward for many years. Jim considered grocery shopping to be a competitive sport as well as a leisure activity. He was seeking sponsorship from his local Piggly Wiggly at the time of his passing. Jim enjoyed the holidays and had a special love of Christmas that he shared with his wife. He volunteered annually to play Santa and loved every smile he received in return. Jim led an early campaign to spread the use of sarcasm in everyday conversation (both appropriate and inappropriate); a skill he later passed on to his children. Ever the handsome yet handy husband, he never tackled a home repair without duct tape. Jim loved trying to beat the odds at the card tables and although he lost more than he won - he never stopped trying. Jim respected modern medicine, but always considered doctors' orders to be mere suggestions. Jim loved to travel and was always up for a new adventure no matter the destination! Jim was cherished and loved by his family and many friends. His memory will inspire joy and laughter in death as in life! In closing, Jim would like you all to know to leave a quarter on the tank, that 99% of life is showing up, and that he sure is glad you got to see him! Funeral services are being held at St. Monica's Church, Mishawaka, at 10 am on Saturday, August 26, 2017, Inurnment to follow at Fairview Cemetery, Mishawaka, IN, Reception / Celebration of Life for both James and Diana to follow. Service being handled by Goethals & Wells Funeral Home, Mishawaka (no viewing).