James “Green Hornet” Tautges, of Birnamwood, died Sunday, January 24, 2016 at home at the age of 67. He was born on October 29, 1948 in Birnamwood, a son of the late Anton and Beulah (Meverden) Tautges. He married Kathy Neiter on January 11, 1969 at St. Boniface Catholic Church, Aniwa. She preceded him in death on September 12, 2010.
After attending Birnamwood High School, Mr. Tautges began his truck driving career as a milk truck driver.
In 1967, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was promoted to the rank of specialist. While serving in Vietnam, he was awarded the Purple Heart and the Vietnam Service Medal with three Bronze Service Stars. When he returned from Vietnam, he drove for several local trucking companies. He began driving for Karl’s Transport in 2005 and retired in 2015 after more than 44 years behind the wheel.
First and foremost, Jim was a devoted husband and father. He was a member of the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA). Jim’s CB handle was Green Hornet. In his spare time he worked in his yard on his Allis-Chalmers tractor and drove dump truck for Jack Kautza.
Survivors include two daughters, Chris Tautges, Tigerton, Vickie (Steve) Crum, Wausau; four grandchildren, Cody Richter, Steven Richter, Vicky (fiance Bryan Pelky) Richter, Rhianan Roberts; one great-granddaughter, Aalieah Pelky; four sisters, Dorothy Frederickson and Mary Deisinger, both of Antigo, Rosalie (Gerald) Ziegelbauer, Birnamwood, Bernadine (Gary) Seefeldt, Wittenberg; one brother, Michael (Ann) Tautges, Antigo.
In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by a sister in infancy, EmmaJean.
A funeral service will be held on Thursday at 1 p.m. at Bradley Funeral Home with Rev. Omer Kelley officiating. Burial will take place in St. Boniface Cemetery, Aniwa. Visitation will be 4 – 8 p.m. on Wednesday and noon until the time of service on Thursday at the Bradley Funeral Home. Antigo Veterans will conduct military honors Thursday at the funeral home following services.