Jeremy Petrie, President of Willow Creek Press, champion barefoot water skier, and dedicated member of the Minocqua Lions Club, passed away unexpectedly on February 2nd, 2022 at the age of 44, leaving behind a beautiful family and close-knit community that loved him.
Jeremy was born Jeremiah Benjamin Petrie in Wild Rose, WI on August 7th, 1977 to Thomas and Patricia (nee Zierden) Petrie. From the start, Jeremy was a mischievous daredevil with a winning grin. Katharine Hepburn once said, “If you obey all of the rules, you miss all of the fun.” and Jeremy was never one to miss out on "the fun." His family recalls him squealing around on his Big Wheel, and jumping out of haylofts, knowing Jeremy would always “prefer to cut his own path – and make his own speed records." When the Petrie family moved from their country home in Wild Rose to Manitowish Waters in 1989, Jeremy met one of the seminal figures of his life, Caleb Feiereisen. Taking Jeremy under his wing, Caleb introduced Jeremy to barefooting and the Manitowish Waters Skiing Skeeters. They shared a bond that would last beyond Caleb's own life. "If our friendship depends on things like space and time, then we have already destroyed our brotherhood. But overcome space and all you have is here; overcome time and all you have is now. And in the middle of here and now don't you think we might see each other once or twice?"
An example to friends and family, Jeremy “lived his dash” with boundless enthusiasm. If there was a choice between doing something you should do and doing something you wanted to do, Jeremy would choose both, somehow always making time where there wasn't any. When he was 26, Jeremy met the love of his life, Tracy Bucklew, and on July 18th, 2009, they were married at Camp Jorn on Rest Lake in Manitowish Waters. Their marriage was blessed with three beautiful children, Kieran, Halle, and Parker. They also became puppy parents to Willow and Missy. Together Jeremy and Tracy often divided and conquered, making owning a business, kid's sports and activities, and community involvement look easy. Jeremy's playful streak made him a great dad, often playing the "good cop" for the kids and a perpetual tease for Tracy. A fantastic cook, Jeremy would spoil his family and friends with everything from Texas brisket to smiley face breakfasts on the weekends. Another one of Jeremy's great loves was being on his boat, whether it was slipping out for a midnight cruise around the lake, meeting up with friends, or water skiing with the kids at sunrise. Not much of a sleeper, he always seemed to be following the moon and rising with the sun. A fireworks enthusiast, Jeremy lived for the 4th of July. As summer came to an end, Jeremy would turn his attention to cheering for the Packers from mid-field and always looked forward to hunting and fishing trips out west with his family. An energetic member of the Minocqua Lions Club, Jeremy made life-long friends and volunteered at every event including Beef-a-rama, the Northwoods Youth Deer Hunt, Gun Night, Fall Ride, and his favorite, the Veteran's Cookout. As soon as the snow fell in the Northwoods, Jeremy enjoyed the thrills of snowmobiling, downhill skiing and ice fishing.
After graduating from Lakeland Union High School in 1995, Jeremy started working at the family business, Willow Creek Press, stepping into the role of company president in 2017. Despite his messy desk and unintelligible "organizational" system, Jeremy had a reputation in the industry as an excellent businessman who enjoyed his occupation and prided himself on a strong work ethic guided by intuition and gumption. Known around the office to many as JP, Jeremy was a big picture guy... what he didn't know, didn't scare him because he knew he could figure it out as he went. He was known for his "endless" list of new title ideas and relished seeing those projects come to fruition. For Jeremy, relationships were everything... he was never happier than when he was traveling, and entertaining. Even at the office, Jeremy was usually the instigator of a good time. From special lunch days on St. Patrick's Day and Cinco de Mayo to Packer-themed cookouts, happy hours, and Christmas parties, he knew the importance of camaraderie and connection. On Halloween, you’d most certainly find Jeremy in a ghoulish costume jumping out to startle unsuspecting, under-caffeinated coworkers arriving at the office in the morning. When all was said and done, his compassion, big-heartedness, and drive made Jeremy a natural leader and the hub of Willow Creek Press. He was kind when he didn’t have to be and lived life with more passion than most. That’s how Jeremy will always be remembered at "The Creek." May we all live life as fully as Jeremy did.
Jeremy is survived by his wife, Tracy; children Kieran, Halle, and Parker; parents Tom & Patti Petrie; brothers Eric and Ryan (Sandy) Petrie, as well as uncles, aunts, cousins, and numerous friends who made up his extended family. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Bill & Peg Petrie and Alex & Lorraine Zierden; and his uncle, Charlie Petrie.
On a personal note, the Petrie family would like to offer their sincere thanks and gratitude for the community's ongoing support. From the biggest gestures to the smallest kindnesses, please know that they continue to be noticed and appreciated. There aren't enough thank you cards in the world to match the care and concern shown to our family this year. It's a comfort to know that the legacy Jeremy built has touched so many lives.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on August 6th, 2022 from 2 pm to 6 pm at Skeeter Beach, Rest Lake Park in Manitowish Waters. Pastor Randy Quade will officiate a brief outdoor service to commemorate Jeremy at 2:15. The Minocqua Lions Club will generously be providing food and refreshments. Since there are more "Jeremy stories" to count, his family will be collecting notes and letters from attendees in a Memories Jar at the service. There will be pens and paper available the day of.
At 7 pm, the Manitowish Waters Skiing Skeeters will put on a ski show in honor of Jeremy. Anyone wishing to participate in the ski show, including Alumni Skeeters and veteran skiers from other clubs, should meet at Skeeter Beach.
In lieu of flowers or cards, donations can be made in Jeremy's memory to the Minocqua Lions Club.
Online condolences may be shared at nimsgernfuneral.com
NIMSGERN FUNERAL & CREMATION SERVICES IS SERVING THE FAMILY.