Age 86, and lifelong resident of Coal City, Illinois, died Sunday, October 8, 2023 at his home.
Born November 29, 1936 in Coal City, James was the son of James and Mary "Mayme" (Ryan) Roy. He was raised and educated in Coal City and graduated from Coal City High School with the Class of 1954. James entered the work force, beginning his employment at U.S. Rubber and then he began a career at Caterpillar where he worked for over 30 years. He had a strong work ethic and liked to keep busy, spending the summer months working on farms and additionally worked for Anderson Auto Supply and for the State of Illinois mowing grass.
James was a member of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Coal City and the National Rifle Association, and served as a Union Steward while at Caterpillar. He was an avid outdoorsman, finding great joy in hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, and camping at the Coal City Area Club. James also loved horseback riding, motorcycling, and his regular golf outings with his friends. He was a man of many interests, taking pleasure in photography, traveling, leather stamping, and dog breeding over the years.
He was a proud grandfather and had a particular sweet spot for his great grandchildren. Whether it was attending cheer performances, target practice, or trips to breakfast, James loved doting on his great grandkids. He loved being with his family and worked hard to provide for them and share his love with them.
Survivors include his three children: Vanessa (Ron) Benson of Coal City, James Roy, Jr. of Missouri, and Jennifer Roy of Coal City; four grandchildren: Jeremy (Alexandra) Benson, Holli Benson, Anthony Squellati, and Melanie Sanders; four great grandchildren: Izabel Michelkamp, Griffin Benson, Max Benson, and Eli Benson; and numerous nieces and nephews.
James was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Willa Roy, whom he married on January 30, 1960; his mother-in-law and father-in-law: Thomas and Eleanor Caldwell; one grandson, James Nicholas Roy; two sisters: Mary (David) Albrecht and Shirley (Vic) Monbrum; one niece, Stacy Walters; as well as the family that raised him, Francis and Frances Bell, and their daughter, Elaine Perona.
Per his wishes, cremation rites are being accorded.
The family will receive friends for a memorial visitation on Friday, October 20, 2023, at Reeves Funeral Home, 75 North Broadway Street (one block north of Illinois Route 113), in Coal City from 10:00 a.m. until the time of memorial service at 12:00 p.m.
Private inurnment will be held at Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery in Wilmington, where James will be laid to rest with his wife, Willa.
Preferred memorials may be made as gifts in James' memory to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Family and friends are encouraged to sign the online guest book, upload photographs, and share James' memorial page via social media.
Cremation services and memorial arrangements have been made under the direction and care of Reeves & Baskerville Funeral Homes and Crematory in Coal City (815) 634-2125.