Cover photo for James Willard Perkins's Obituary
James Willard Perkins Profile Photo

James Willard Perkins

April 24, 1955 — January 8, 2023

Dwight, Illinois

James Willard Perkins


Age 67, of Dwight, formerly Gardner, Plainfield, and Pontiac passed away on Sunday, January 8, 2023 at Park Pointe in Morris.

Born April 24, 1955 in Joliet, a son to Willard “Bud” and Dorothy (Papach) Perkins. James was raised in Gardner and graduated from Plainfield High School with the class of 1973. He enlisted and honorably served in the United States Air Force. Upon his discharge, James worked for Caterpillar, retiring in 2020 after 39 years of dedicated service. He was a former member of UAW Local #2096. On September 28, 2012 he married Mary Smith in Pontiac, she survives.

An avid concert enthusiast, Jim loved live music, especially the Grateful Dead. He enjoyed reading and playing both board and video games. His children will struggle enjoying Monopoly or Mario Kart 64 without him. Jim was quite the crafter, having enjoyed both woodworking and tie dying projects. Through the years, he enjoyed playing Dungeons and Dragons, was an avid bowler, enjoyed fishing and loved golf. Trivia with friends and family was one of his favorite pastimes. Trivia team CRS will acutely feel his loss. Jim was a caring, loyal friend. Most importantly, he will be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, and brother who cherished time spent with his family.

Survivors include his wife Mary Perkins of Dwight, four children: Stephanie (Michael) Morehead of Florida, Sean (April) Perkins of Florida, Mike Perkins of Plainfield, and Katie (Scott) Mackinson of Dallas, TX; two step-sons: Michael (Jessica) Galbraith and Brian (Hilary) Dobbs both of Dwight; 13 grandchildren; one brother Thomas (Karen) Perkins of Gardner; one sister Patricia Weiskop of Joliet; numerous nieces and nephews; as well as many close friends.

James was preceded in death by his parents; father-in-law Leslie Smith, one niece Kali Sue Perkins Croy; brother-in-law G.Lee Weiskop; sister-in-law Julie Smith and his grandson Rocky.

Cremation rites have been accorded. The family will receive friends at Reeves Funeral Home, 203 Liberty Street, in Gardner on Friday, January 20, 2023 between the hours of 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM. A Celebration of Life will take place on Saturday, January 21, 2023 at Victory Lanes Bowl, 410 E Main Ave, in Dwight between the hours of 12:00 PM and 3:00 PM. Casual attire encouraged (tie-dye welcome).

Graveside services along with full military honors will take place on Monday, January 23, 2023 at 10:00 AM in Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Illinois.

Friends and family are encouraged to log onto to sign the online guestbook, submit photos and share James's memorial page via social media.

Cremation and memorial services have been made under the direction and care of Reeves Funeral Homes, Ltd in Gardner. (815-237-2526)

To send flowers to the family in memory of James Willard Perkins, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Friday, January 20, 2023

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Reeves Funeral Home Gardner

203 Liberty Street, Gardner, IL 60424

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, January 21, 2023

12:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

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Graveside Service

Monday, January 23, 2023

10:00 - 10:30 am (Central time)

Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery

20953 W Hoff Rd, Elwood, IL 60421

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