Age 83 of Wilmington, Illinois, formerly of New Lenox, Illinois, died peacefully on Thursday, December 8, 2022 at Lightways Hospice and Serious Illness Care in Joliet.
Born July 26, 1939 in Herrin, Illinois, James LeRoy was a son of Earl and Faye (Counsil) Dent. He was raised in Herrin and New Lenox and graduated from Lincoln Way High School with the Class of 1957. On February 24, 1966 Jim married the love of his life, Kathleen Gail Bennett in Mokena, and together they moved to Maryland.
He worked as a welder and millwright, and gained employment with Caterpillar Tractor Company in York, Pennsylvania. Jim and his family later relocated to New Lenox and continued his employment with Caterpillar in Joliet, until he gained employment with All Steel Iron Works in Lemont from where he would retire.
In his free time, he enjoyed going fishing on the Kankakee River and at the Meneoka Sportsmans Club, as well as playing washers and going to the casino. Jim was proud to be a mason and was a 45 year member of the A.F & A.M. Charity Grand Lodge of Liberty and Freemasonry in Freeland, Maryland. Though he was a man of few words, his kind and gentle nature spoke volumes to those who knew and loved him. Jim was the definition of a family man who cherished spending time with his children and grandchildren. He always made time to go to all their extracurricular activities, and to keep an eye on his special great grandchildren: Cooper “CJ the DJ” and Olivia “Little Spitfire”.
Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Kathy Dent of Wilmington; five children: James (Deb) Dent of York, Pennsylvania, Harold (Karen) Dent and Judi (the late Keith) Keller, both of Renova, Pennsylvania, Jeanette (Gary) Proffitt of Wilmington, and Jenny (Butch) Parkman of Monroe, Georgia; fourteen grandchildren: Amanda, Kelly, Rachel, Jimmy, Amanda Mae, Holly, Wyatt, Garrett, Nichole, Brittney, Haley, Lily, Markie “Big Guy”, and Darion, as well as nineteen great grandchildren; one brother and one sister: Earlene (Lee) Colley of Reisterstown, Maryland and John (Pam) Dent of West Frankfort, Illinois, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Todd (Rene) Bennett of Manhattan, Illinois, Sheila (Ralph) Swanberg of Mokena, and Donna (the late Butch) Vandygriff of Diamond; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, his father-in-law and mother-in-law: George and Elsie Bennett; one brother, Ken (Rose) Dent, and several brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.
The family will receive friends for a visitation on Tuesday, December 13, 2022 at Baskerville Funeral Home, 700 East Kahler Road, in Wilmington from 3:00 p.m. until the time of funeral service at 5:00 p.m. Cremation rites will be accorded following the funeral services.
Preferred memorials may be made as gifts in Jim’s memory to Kuzma Care Cottage in Wilmington.
Family and friends are encouraged to sign the online guest book, upload photographs, and share Jim’s memorial page via social media.
Funeral services and cremation arrangements have been made under the direction and care of Baskerville Funeral Home in Wilmington (815) 476-2181.