Cover photo for James E. Sugar's Obituary
James E. Sugar Profile Photo
1943 James 2023

James E. Sugar

March 4, 1943 — August 5, 2023


In Loving Memory of James Edward Sugar, Madison, Wisconsin.

James Edward Sugar, a devoted husband, loving father, cherished grandfather, and respected member of his community, passed away peacefully in his home on August 5, 2023 surrounded by his family. Born on March 4, 1943 in Richland Center, Wisconsin, he leaves behind a legacy of love, integrity, and kindness. Jim was preceded in death by his parents John G. Sugar and Frances E. (Price) Sugar, and brother J. William Sugar.

Throughout his life, Jim exemplified the values of hard work, compassion, and dedication. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he earned both his undergraduate and law degrees. Additionally, he achieved the distinction of becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst, a testament to his commitment to excellence in his professional pursuits.

Jim had many accomplishments throughout his life and is a source of pride for his family. He was commissioned as an Army Second Lieutenant upon graduation from ROTC at the University of Wisconsin. He served honorably in the US Army, the Wisconsin Army National Guard, and completed his military service as a Major in the Judge Advocate General Corps. He started his career at First Wisconsin Bank. His contributions over 39 years helped to guide the bank through many transformations shaping its path towards becoming US Bank. His understanding of all things financial was admired by colleagues and clients alike. 

Family was at the heart of Jim’s life. He shared 57 wonderful years of marriage with his wife, Elizabeth C. (Clarke) Sugar. Together they raised three sons, Ben, Hugh (Annie), and Tim (Darby), instilling in them the same values of integrity and compassion that he upheld throughout his life.  He will be missed by his surviving brother David (Cynthia), his nephew Clarke (Leah), grandnephews Bode and Soren, forever family friend Colonel Timothy Jackman, cousin Judy Williams, along with so many other family and friends. As a grandfather Jim found immeasurable joy in the presence of his six grandchildren: Molly (19), Helena (10), Sydney (10), Arles (8), Isla (8), and Greta (6). The time that he spent with each family member and grandchild formed an unbreakable bond that will forever be treasured.

Jim had an insatiable appetite for knowledge, US history, the national parks, and beautiful parts of the world, which led him to explore all of the United States as well as take many trips abroad.

Starting in just a tent and eventually enjoying his own cabin, Northern Wisconsin was the place that captured his heart. His passion for his work never let him leave the financial world, Jim had a fascination with the stock market and fiduciary responsibility. Jim enjoyed watching the UW Men’s Badger Basketball Team courtside with many best friends, being a season ticket holder for 25 years. He was involved with the Boy Scouts achieving the rank of Eagle Scout and guiding his three sons on their completion of the Eagle rank. Jim kept his faith strong as a member of Bethel Lutheran Church.

James Edward Sugar was a man of genuine warmth and wisdom, leaving a lasting impact on all who had the privilege of knowing him. A memorial service to celebrate Jim's life will be held at 10:00 AM on Saturday August 19, 2023 at Bethel Lutheran Church, 312 Wisconsin Avenue, Madison, WI 53703. The family will be at Bethel at 9:00 AM to greet everyone. An announcement will be made at the service for a luncheon to follow.

Cress Funeral Service

3610 Speedway Road

Madison, WI 53705


Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, August 19, 2023

9:00 - 10:00 am (Central time)


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Memorial Service

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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