James Earl England
James (Jim) England passed peacefully in his sleep at Mill Creek Alzheimer's Special Care Center in Springfield, Illinois on July 1, 2023. Jim was born January 4, 1927, at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Danville, Illinois, to Paul L. and Eleanor D. England. He had one brother, Paul (Buck) England, who died in April of 2006.
Jim married Margaret Tennis on April 22, 1950, in Peoria Heights, Illinois. Jim and Margaret had three children, Stephen England (Marian), Mark England (Linda) and Jennifer Krasa (Rob) and five grandchildren: Anne England, Emily England, Patrick England, Nora Krasa and Henry Krasa.
Jim served in the United States Navy from January 1945 until June 1946 and graduated from Bradley University in 1950 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He was employed by Caterpillar from April 1951 until his retirement in 1983. Jim and Margaret were members of the Congregational Church of Lockport and then joined the Westminster Presbyterian Church of Joliet in 2017 when driving to Lockport became too difficult.
As a young man, Jim enjoyed bowling, softball, and going to the Indy 500. He was very generous with his talents and resources and an engineer to his bones who loved building and fixing—cars (real and toy), doll houses, vacuum cleaners—you name it. Jim and Margaret loved taking their children to national parks, although camping was not much of a vacation for Margaret. In the final years, he enjoyed watching Cubs’ games, playing checkers, making puzzles, and eating sweets.
Jim suffered for many years with Alzheimer’s Dementia, and Margaret, always petite, became increasingly frail as years passed by. Their purpose in life was caring for each other. They moved from their home in Joliet in October 2020 and had the misfortune of contracting COVID about a month later. They shared a last Thanksgiving dinner together and Margaret went to the hospital the next day, passing a few days later. Jim, remarkably, survived COVID but never recovered from losing Margaret.
Jim will be buried with his beloved Margaret at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery. Private services will be held at Blackburn-Giegerich-Sonntag Funeral Home in Joliet. Family and friends may sign the online guest book or send condolences at www.bgsfuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Alzheimer’s Association or a local food bank.