BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) -- The death of Jim Kress was first announced at a graduation ceremony on Sunday at St. Norbert College in the gymnasium named in his honor.
According to a brief obituary on the Ryan Funeral Home & Crematory website, the 89-year-old "passed away peacefully at home" on Sunday morning.
"Jim Kress was just an outstanding individual and passed that along to the people that he worked with at his company and with his children," said Mary Jane Herber, local history librarian with the Brown County Library.
Known for his leadership positions at Green Bay Packaging started by his father, George Kress, Jim started serving as president and director in 1963. He most recently transitioned to chairman of the board.
"I think he had a father who installed in him the importance of company and community and family, and so therefore, it allowed him to expand the company but also give back to the community in great ways," said Herber.
The Kress name can be found on buildings in Green Bay and De Pere as signs of just some organizations supported through the Kress Foundation.
"It's not only what he gave, but the way he gave it," said Chancellor Gary Miller at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. "He was very sensitive to the needs of people, really sensitive to the needs of education. Really a pathfinder with regards to the environment."
Those who knew Jim personally remember him as a man of integrity, creating a footprint locally that will live on for generations.
"Really an exceptional, extraordinary man. We will all miss him," said Miller.