James (Jim) was born in a small-town Lovington, Illinois, and grew up working on the farm and enjoyed time in high school playing football and showing off his car with his brothers, Dean, Leroy and sister Margaret. He was given the nickname Bull, as he exuded his strength on the field. After high school, he went into insurance briefly and became roommates with his future brother-in-law John McCarty. That is when he was introduced to his future wife, Hazel Charlene McCarty. They married in January of 1966. They started their married life in the simplest of ways and eventually moved to Decatur, IL with their young girls Lisa (Conaway) and Pamela (Ostwinkle). They became lifelong friends with most of their neighbors.
In the early 70’s they were informed that Jim had Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The doctors advised Jim and Hazel that a dry climate would benefit his health. In late 1978, they moved to Phoenix, Arizona and settled into the Glendale community and again they became friends with most of their neighbors and poured back into their community in multiple areas.
Jim worked for Maricopa County for a couple of decades in the Vehicle Parts Department and found great joy in that. Their faith was very important to them both. Dad would go to a local restaurant and take their day-old bread to St Vincent De Paul for distribution. They both served at St. Vincent De Paul to help their community with local resources and assist those that were in need.
Dad demonstrated much strength despite his diagnosis and never complained of his circumstances. He was usually the quiet one, whereas Hazel was the talkative one. However, when he had something to say it was meaningful or quite funny. Dad poured into his grandchildren and showed them in a beautiful way, how to be a loving Dad and Grandfather.
A Breakfast Reception & Visitation will be held at 9:30am on February 9, 2024 Chapel of the Chimes 7924 N. 59th Ave Glendale, AZ., with a Celebration of Life to follow. Intermittent will be held at West Resthaven Cemetery 6450 W. Northern Ave Glendale, Az at 1pm.