James Paul Iaquinta was born to eternal life on Friday, February 18, at Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa, WI after hospitalization on Christmas Eve. Born May 20, 1947 to James (“Jay”) and Shirley (Weyrauch) Iaquinta, Jim attended Bain Elementary, McKinley Jr. High and Tremper High School, graduating in 1965. He earned a B.A. from Carthage College, in 1969, as a math and theater arts major.
Jim devoted his life to his acting career, performing in many productions by many theater companies in the southeastern WI area and founding the Wisconsin Actors Ensemble. He later earned an Accounting degree from Gateway Technical College to expand his theater administration skills. Before pursuing his acting career, he taught drama and English in the early 1970’s at Tremper High School.
Jim, a committed stage actor, was well known for his many character roles, especially in “A Dickens of A Christmas Carol” and “An Evening With Edgar Allan Poe – Tales From the Dark Side.” Over the years, Jim performed at theaters and venues in Minneapolis MN, and in southeastern WI including Broadway Baby Dinner Theater, Memories Dinner Theater, M &W Children’s Theater, Apple Holler Dinner Theater, Uncorkt, and Hob Nob. Jim also acted in both feature and industrial training films.
For years at Christmas time Jim relished his role as Santa Claus at the mall. In later years Jim worked for Lad Lake of Milwaukee as a youth counselor, where he helped many young people and was highly respected for his success. Jim was an avid and knowledgeable sports fan, devoted to the Packers, Bucks and Brewers. He was proud to be a Packer stockholder since 1991 and often watched games with his close friends. In retirement, Jim was employed at Warnimont Golf course club house in Cudahy.
Jim was preceded in death by his mother, father, and brother Timothy. He is survived by his sister, Alice Iaquinta, West Bend WI, and brothers, David (Pam) Iaquinta, Lincoln NE, and Peter (Annie) Iaquinta, Madison WI; many nieces, nephews and loving extended family. Additionally, he is survived by his “family” of close friends, Lori Minetti, Joe Burton, Ted Tyson, Jerry Shawl and Peter Shuttleworth, as well as many members of the Milwaukee theater community.