James “Jim” C. Binder, 70, Eau Claire, gracefully waltzed out of this world on the evening of Friday, July 24, 2020 at the home that he built surrounded by his family.
Jim was born on August 11, 1949 in Marshfield, Wisconsin to John and Ruth (Wagner) Binder. He married his high school sweetheart, Patricia Weber, on June 16, 1973, and they had two daughters, Jessica and Allison.
Jim enlisted with the United States Navy Reserve in 1967 and deployed to Vietnam in 1968. During his 1 year tour in Vietnam he served as a Gunners Mate Petty Officer 3rd class. He heroically patrolled the inland waterways of Vietnam with what is known as the “Brown-Water Navy”. In 1973 he was honorably discharged.
Words can hardly describe the magnitude of Jim’s talents. He was a perpetual student, loved learning and acquired degrees in Mechanical Design (Mid-State Tech 1972), Marketing (CVTC 1975) and a Teaching Bachelor’s degree (UWEC 1987). He taught Math and Social Studies at CVTC for 25 years, retiring in 2011. Prior to his teaching career, Jim and Pat operated Clay Tree, a pottery shop on Ferry Street in Eau Claire, now known as Caradori Pottery. Jim did wood working while Pat was a potter. They created works together using both mediums, and Jim sold them at art fairs in the Midwest from 1973-1982. Jim was a jack of all trades and a great problem solver. No project or task was beyond his skill. Likewise, he was an amazing engineer for all of the artistic projects his wife envisioned. Jim and Pat designed and rebuilt the old farmhouse they purchased, transforming it into a modern home. Jim had a soft spot for animals especially his cats. He was an avid organic gardener long before it was “cool” to grow foods that way. He loved to travel, and Jim and his family road tripped throughout the U.S. and Canada. In 2007 Jim and Pat took up ballroom dancing and attended many dancing events. Jim and his daughter, Allison, took dance lessons as well. He especially loved to swing dance. He is remembered for always singing various jingles around the house; usually a single line from a song stuck in his head for weeks. Jim had a magnetic personality and was fun to be around. It would take him forever to leave a social event as he made his rounds (again) to everyone to say “goodbye.” His witty and sarcastic humor was epic. Jim was certain to make you laugh. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends and all who knew him.
Jim is survived by wife, Patricia Binder; daughter Allison (Jesse) Richard; sister Joann (Mike) Weiler; brothers John P. (Linda) Binder, Jerry (Carol) Binder, Jeffrey (Joanne) Binder, Jake (Missy) Binder, and Joel (Mary) Binder; mother-in-law Bernadine Weber; sisters-in-law Joellen (Ken) Heiman and Carol Tomke; brother-in-law David (Denise) Weber; and many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, John and Ruth Binder; daughter Jessica Binder; father-in-law Joseph Weber; and brother-in-law and spouse Joel (Marlene) Weber.
The family wishes to extend thanks to Mayo Clinic Oncology and Hospice Service for their care.
An educational scholarship will be established in Jim’s memory. In lieu of flowers, memorials toward the scholarship may be sent, if desired, to Patricia Binder at this time.
A celebration of life event will be held with the date yet to be determined pending the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic.