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James Jim Pickhardt

Obituary for James Jim Pickhardt

December 14, 1935 - January 18, 2019
Randolph, Wisconsin | Age 83

Loving Husband, Dad and Grandpa


James was called home to his Heavenly Father on January 18, 2019 after a battle with kidney cancer.

James was born the son of Carl and Verona (Schmaltz) Pickhardt on December 14, 1935 in Salemville, WI. He was a lifelong member of Friedens Lutheran Church in Randolph; where he was baptized into the Christian faith on February 2, 1936 and confirmed in faith May 15, 1949. James was united in marriage to Ardyth Achterberg on May 18, 1963 at the Pardeeville Methodist Church. He was a 1954 graduate of Randolph High School.

After high school, James farmed for a while and learned to run draglines working for Ellis Foulkes and Frank Stokes. He was drafted into the Army in 1958, discharged in 1960, serving in active and inactive duty until 1964 when he was honorably discharged. In 1961 he returned to heavy construction. Working for J. G. Hull, he realized his love for operating draglines. Jim started in business for himself in 1967, which evolved into the business of Pickhardt, Inc. where he worked with his wife until his retirement in 2001. During this time, he enjoyed sharing his accomplishments (many ditches, ponds, cranberry marshes, and road work) throughout the state, working side by side with his sons David and Steven while they were at home.

He was a member of several organizations: Land improvement Contractors of America (LICA) where he served as a state and national officer. Wisconsin Cranberry Growers Association as an associate member. He was active with Thrivent Financial Services, serving as the first Vice President of the new Western Dodge County Chapter. He was a member of the Historical Construction Equipment Association (HCEA), the Randolph Lost Lake Historical Society, and the Cambria American Legion Post 401. James was also a faithful and active member of Friedens Ev. Lutheran Church in Randolph where he served on the church council and various committees over the years.

Jim and his wife enjoyed traveling in their retirement, traveling to all 50 states and also abroad. He enjoyed collecting construction toys and had an extensive collection. Most of all, Jim loved spending time with his family and especially enjoyed watching his grandchildren in all their activities.

Jim is survived by his wife Ardyth of 55 years of Randolph; his two sons David (Lisa) Pickhardt of Randolph and Steven (Kris) Pickhardt of Randolph; four grandchildren: Megan (Ross) Fassbinder of West Bend; Jonathan Pickhardt of Randolph; Allison (Cody) Zimmerman of Slinger; Holly Pickhardt USAF Academy in Colorado Springs, CO.; and his sister Marion Hauser of Kenosha. He is further survived by nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Howard in infancy, brother-in-law Ron Hauser and nephew Scott Hauser.

Visitation for James will be at Friedens Ev. Lutheran Church in Randolph on Wednesday, January 23, 2019 from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., and again on Thursday, January 24 from 10 a.m. until the time of the memorial service at 11 a.m. at the church. Rev. Daniel Schumann will officiate. Military honors conducted by the Cambria American Legion Post # 401 will immediately follow the service at the church. Inurnment will take place at Randolph Cemetery at a later date.

Memorials may be directed to: Friedens Ev. Lutheran Church and/or its Legacy Endowment Fund, HCEA, Beaver Dam Area Theater and Beaver Dam Concert Association.

The Koepsell-Murray Funeral Home in Beaver Dam is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at

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Koepsell-Murray Funeral & Cremation Services, Beaver Dam

N7199 N. Crystal Lake Road
Beaver Dam, WI 53916
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