James B. Hasler

March 25, 1925 ~ October 19, 2018 (age 93)


Dr. James B. Hasler, age 93, Reedsburg, died October 19, 2018, following a brief illness.                                

Hasler, born in Hancock, MI on March 25, 1925, graduated from Campbellsport, WI High School. He served in the US Army during World War II, stationed in the US and Great Britain. He used the GI Bill to earn a degree from Illinois College of Optometry. Following graduation, he practiced optometry in Hartford, Wisconsin where he met Elizabeth Gutschenritter whom he married on October 8, 1950. They moved to Reedsburg in 1954 where Jim joined Dr. Henry Hahn in his Main Street office.                                        

Hasler was both an organizer and leader of the Wisconsin and National Optometric Associations, serving as WOA president. He helped create the North Central US Optometric Association which he chaired, as well as serving on the WI Optometric Examining Board and the ICO Board of Trustees. Hasler helped make optometry a respected and effective part of the Wisconsin health care system.

Hasler served on the MATC Board, including a stint as board chair during the deliberations that resulted in the creation of the Truax campus. He actively supported the Reedsburg campus and its local nursing program.                                     

As a member and chair of the Planning Commission and Community Development Committee, Hasler was part of Reedsburg’s industrial and commercial revitalization efforts in the late 20th century. He was a past member of Reedsburg Lions Club and Athletic Club.. He entertained around the state both with his trumpet and as a member of the quartet 3 Docs and a Digger. He also sang in his church choirs.                                                                                            

Reedsburg Country Club was major focal point for JB. As a scratch golfer and winner of numerous club championships and events, Jim helped organize and lead the effort to expand and improve the local 9-hole course to 18 holes and regional prominence. He also served on the state golf association board, later organizing and managing the popular South-Central Wisconsin Senior Golf Association.                                               

Jim Hasler is survived by his wife of 68 years, Elizabeth, and their six children, Joseph J. (Stephanie), Reedsburg, Mary Beth (Robert) Turner, Reedsburg, Barbara (Mike) Erickson, Lake Geneva, Sarah (Paul) Wanless, Decorah, Iowa, Phil (Jan) Hasler, Reedsburg and Kate (Scott) Escher, LaCrosse along with 26 grandchildren and 20 great- grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Maud Hasler, his brother, Robert, and sister, Carol.                                                               

A memorial mass for James B. Hasler will be conducted at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, November 23, 2018 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Reedsburg with visitation at 9:30 a.m.                                             

Gifts and memorials to Sacred Heart Parish, Reedsburg, Illinois College of Optometry Foundation and Madison Area Technical College Foundation in lieu of flowers.


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