James Philip 'Jim' Romball, age 74, of Winona, passed away on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, at St. Anne Extended Healthcare, after a lengthy illness.
Jim was born on May 6, 1945, in Portland, Ore., to Anthony and Mary (Langowski) Romball, and was a 1963 graduate of Cotter High School. Jim was united in marriage with Diane J. Mickow on April 19, 1969, at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Winona.
He honorably served his country with the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam, receiving a Purple Heart and Presidential Unit Citations. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Thomas Rooney Post 1530 in La Crosse, Wis., and the American Legion Leon J. Wetzel Post 9 in Winona.
He graduated from Winona State University with a bachelor's degree in Individualized Study, and he held master plumber licenses in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. Jim owned and operated La Crosse Mechanical in La Crosse, with enthusiasm, pride and joy. He loved to work and to talk about his plumbing projects. With his daughter, Lori, and son-in-law, Frank, they always discussed home remodeling projects, or how nice it was to swim in their pool.
Jim was proud of his hole-in-one at Cedar Valley Golf Course, and enjoyed a day with his golfing friends or with his family, playing with "Diane's rules." In his younger years, Jim enjoyed hunting, snowmobiling, and boating — there are many interesting stories to go along with all of that! Jim loved cars — he really didn't work on them, but passed that love down to his daughter, Lisa. He looked forward to traveling to military reunions, and to warm places, including Florida, the Grand Canyon and Mesa in Arizona, California, Texas, Virginia, Colorado and many states in between. Jim also enjoyed trips abroad to Hawaii, England and Hong Kong.
He was a life-long member of the Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka, and had a deep devotion to his faith, attending daily Mass regularly. Jim cherished the time that he spent with his family, and he will be deeply missed by all those who loved him.
Jim is lovingly survived by his wife of 50 years, Diane; daughters Lori (Frank) Kania, Old Frontenac, Minn., and Lisa Romball, Winona; two grandsons whom he loved dearly, Francis "Frankie" Kania and Izeley Kania; sister Patricia (Paul) Nowak, Mesa, Ariz.; niece Lily Romball, Tampa, Fla.; as well as other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, and a brother, Anthony Romball.
Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4, at Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home in Winona, where a Christian Wake Service will be held at 7:30. Visitation also will be from 1 p.m. until the Mass of Christian Burial at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, at the Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka. The Very Reverend Patrick Arens will officiate. Jim will be laid to rest in St. Mary's Cemetery, where the American Legion Leon J. Wetzel Post 9 of Winona will provide military honors.
Pallbearers will be his son-in-law, Frank Kania; former plumbers and steamfitters of La Crosse Mechanical, Jeff Lonkoski, Tom Beers, and Tom Breuer; and friends Dennis Ebertowski and Jim Lukaszewski.
Memorials may be directed to the donor's choice.
Online condolences or memories may be left for Jim's family at www.watkowski-mulyck.com.