obit template2018-11-29T12:10:12+00:00


Jim reached the finish line of his earthly marathon and was born to Eternal Life on November 3, 2020 at the age of 77. Loving and caring husband of Cona (nee Ziino) for 45 joyful years; cherished father of Maria (Ryan) Wilhelm; beloved granddad of Isabella and Joe; dear brother of Lyle (Lynda) Bahr, Phyllis (Fritz) Balmer, Joe (Pauline) Bahr and Ken (Cindy) Bahr; dear brother-in-law of Tony (Nancy) Ziino, Vince (Nancy) Ziino and Mario (Patricia) Ziino; treasured uncle to many nieces and nephews; and valued friend to countless others, including fellow marathon runners. Jim is reunited in Paradise with his dear parents Joseph and Della Bahr and in-laws Salvatore and Carmela Ziino.


Born in La Crosse, WI, Jim attended West Salem High School and graduated from UW-La Crosse with a teaching degree. Earned a master’s degree in Special Education from UW-Milwaukee.  He taught in the New Berlin School District for over 25 years at Glen Park Elementary School and New Berlin Middle School. Was a longtime girls’ basketball, cross country and soccer coach in New Berlin.


An avid marathon runner, Jim participated in many statewide races well into his 70s, including in each of the first 35 Milwaukee Lakefront Marathons, medaling in 28 of them and winning in his age group 12 times. He also qualified to run in three Boston Marathons. He was a member of the Badgerland Striders Club Long Series Champions.  Jim also enjoyed gardening and following his favorite sports teams, the Badgers, Packers and Brewers. He was most proud of his grandchildren and their educational and athletic endeavors, particularly swimming, gymnastics, basketball and baseball and rooted them on from near and far.


The family would like to thank the doctors and nurses at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center and the caregivers at Zilber Family Hospice for their compassionate kindness. A Christian Burial Mass will be held at Holy Apostles Church in New Berlin on November 13th. Visitation from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in the church narthex followed by the mass. The service will be live-streamed by visiting   Please stay safe and practice social distancing.

Private entombment to follow for family at Holy Cross Cemetery & Mausoleum. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests making a donation to the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation, Holy Apostles or to a charity of your choosing in Jim’s name.


  1. Mary Maier November 7, 2020 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    Jim was such a good, kind man. Greg and I enjoyed spending time with him. He left this world way too soon, but he will live on in our memories. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Cona and all his family.

  2. Nancy Toelle November 9, 2020 at 6:01 am - Reply

    Patient, devoted, modest, classy, and kind—these are a few words to describe how Jim will be remembered. As a coach, mentor, teacher, friend, and family man with many achievements, he encouraged snd supported others to do their best and cross their finish lines. May he live on in our hearts! Nancy Toelle and family

  3. Anne Pierce November 10, 2020 at 5:51 pm - Reply

    Jim was a very dedicated and patent teacher.
    I enjoyed working with him and his students as they transitioned from Middle School to High school at New Berlin West. I often admired his dedication to running as he jogged around on the streets of New Berlin. His was a life well lived.

  4. Victoria Sweigart November 14, 2020 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    Cona, I viewed the service online and was able to see you with your daughter Maria and family. While not there in person, I pray that you felt my support and the support of all those who love you and loved Jim. You were fortunate to have had 45 years with such a wonderful man. God bless you and guide you, and hold you in his loving embrace. Vickie

  5. Jerry Poehling November 16, 2020 at 10:54 am - Reply

    I was a classmate and on the high school football team with with Jim. I always remember him as a smiling, gentle, caring person, and enjoyed visiting with him at our reunions. Deepest sympathy to Cona, Jim’s children and grand children. I’m certain he will be sorely missed.

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