James H. "Jim" Williams, 89, died Monday, June 19, 2017 at home in Medina, where he and his wife had lived for five years after moving from Champaign, Illinois. He was born May 11, 1928 in Eugene, Oregon, son of Wallace and Ada Wolaver Williams.
He married JoAnn Hickey in Glen Ellyn, Illinois in 1955 and had three children, Scott Kensel (Carol) of Rogersville, Missouri, Kristin Stuffelbeam (Kip) of Lakeview, Arkansas and Jamie Moeslein (Scott) of Columbia, Illinois. He married Joan Anderson Davis of Champaign, Illinois in 1985 and added Lisa Davis Dreaden of Medina and Douglas Davis (Keeya) of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to his family. Jim had 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He is survived by his wife of 31 years; all of his children; grandchildren; great-grandchildren and his sister-in-law, Jean Anderson Weigel of Urbana, Illinois.
He was preceded in death by two sisters and two brothers.
Jim was known for his leadership qualities, big smile and a love of all things fun. After a football injury when he was in college, Jim became a member of the cheerleading squad and it could be said that he continued cheerleading the rest of his life. He always was ready for a party or a card game and usually was the one organizing it.
Jim graduated from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where he majored in English, played football, ran track, was a cheerleader and a member of ATO fraternity. He later earned an MS degree and an Advanced Certificate in Guidance and Counseling. During the first few years of his professional career, Jim taught English and coached track and football in Vandalia, Ohio, was an admissions counselor at DePauw and taught English and was a counselor at York High School in Elmhurst, Illinois and Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn. For nearly 20 years until his retirement in 1986, he was Director of Admissions at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. He later worked part time as Student Advocate at Parkland College in Champaign.
Jim served in the U.S. Army of Occupation in 1946 and 1947 and competed on the all-star Army track team as a hurdler in the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.
During his professional career, Jim was president of each of the three Illinois state high school counseling and college admissions organizations. He was founder and the first president of the Illinois Community College Admissions and Records Organization (ICCAROO). He was a member of Phi Delta Kappa, honorary education fraternity, announced College of DuPage basketball games and usually was first on the dance floor at parties. (He always said his sister taught him well.)
Jim moved to Champaign after his retirement and remarriage and became an active member of Champaign West Rotary, where he twice was named Rotarian of the Year. He served as facilitator of the Man-To-Man prostate cancer support group for seven years and as "Commodore For Life" of the Lake Devonshire Yacht Club neighborhood social group for nearly 25 years. Wearing his plumed hat, decorated coat, and sword, he proudly and with great flourish led the annual Regatta parade of paddleboats, kayaks, rubber floats, and canoes.
Jim also organized the Pete Rose Fan Club poker group, which he participated in for over 20 years. He was an avid Hearts player and competed with friends and family for the traveling Hearts trophy that he created.
Jim's body has been donated to the Cleveland Clinic Body Donation Program for the advancement of medical science. Later, his ashes will be scattered by family members at a special place on Bull Shoals Lake in Arkansas. The Champaign West Rotary Club will celebrate Jim with a Happy Hour (at his request) and the placement of a plaque in the Rotary Meditation Garden in Mattis Park in Champaign.
Memorial donations may be made to Champaign West Rotary Charities, P.O. Box 41, Champaign, IL 61824 or to the Parkland College Foundation, 2400 W. Bradley Avenue, Champaign, IL 61821.