James was a proud veteran of the Korean Conflict having served in the Army within the Criminal Investigative Division. He was President of his 1946 graduating class at St. Edward’s High School. He then graduated in 1950 from Loras College in Dubuque, IA where he majored in English. He was a longtime manager for Osco Drug, and loved reading, remodeling, and his golden retrievers.
James was preceded in death by his parents; 1 brother John, 2 sisters Mary Jean, and Sister Connie, O.P.; 1 son-in-law William, and 1 grandson, Brandon.
He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Kathryn; 8 children; Mary Kay Forkell, Elgin, Karen Kelly-Beith (William), Campton Hills, Patrick (Nancy) Kelly, Geneva, Michael (Jeanne) Kelly, Chicago, Maureen (Paul) Valsted, Elgin, Timothy Kelly, Elgin, Sheila (Jeff) Kelly, Boulder, CO, John (Tracey) Kelly, Skokie, 1 sister, Jo Anne (Joseph) Welch, Seattle; 14 grand, and 13 great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be held Sunday, February 7 at the O’Connor – Leetz Funeral Home, Elgin from 1 – 4 p.m. Funeral Mass will be celebrated Monday, February 8 at 10:30 a.m. St. Mary Catholic Church, Elgin with Fr. Christopher Kuhn, officiating. Burial will follow at Mt. Hope Catholic Cemetery, Elgin.
For more information please contact the funeral home at (847) 741-1400, and visit our website oconnor-leetz.com and on face book O’Connor-Leetz F.H.