MACOMB - James R. Garner, 87, of Macomb, Ill., passed away at 6:45 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, at his residence.
He was born Sept. 24, 1926, in Watseka, Ill., to Lee and Nellie Mathewson Garner. He married Elizabeth E. (Betty) Spurgeon on Aug. 28, 1947. She preceded him in death on April 7, 2010.
He is survived by three sons, David (Connie) Garner of Macomb, Ill., John (Karen) Garner of Henderson, Nev., and Joseph Garner of Lake Balboa, Calif.; one daughter, Susan (Tom) Wenzel of Northbrook, Ill.; eight grandchildren, Lindsay (Matt) Sears, Zachary Garner, Lauren Garner, James B. Garner, Jillian Garner, Alexander Wenzel, Jefferson Wenzel and Elliott Wenzel; and one brother, Tom (Myra) Garner of Jacksonville, Fla.
Jim served in the U.S. Army during World War II as a Master Sergeant in the 3159th Signal Service Battalion in the Philippine Islands and Japan. During the Korean War, he served as a 1st Lieutenant with the 45th Infantry Division in Korea and was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received Jan. 29, 1953, as a Forward Observer.
He graduated from Western Illinois University in 1950. He received the "Award of Recognition" presented by Western Illinois University and the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce for Businessman of the Year in 1978. He also received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Western Illinois University in 1987. He was a member of St. Paul Catholic Church in Macomb, president and member of the Board of Trustees of the Everly Trust, served on the Board of Directors of Wesley Village Retirement Center, was a member and past president of Macomb Rotary Club and was awarded the Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow in 1987. He was a past member of the Board of Governors of State Colleges and Universities, past president of the Macomb Area Industrial Corporation and served on the Board of Directors of First State Bank of Western Illinois for 17 years.
Jim was an agent and Manager for Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. for 58 years.
A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, at St. Paul's Church in Macomb. Visitation will be Friday at St. Paul's Church from 4 to 7 p.m., with a Catholic wake service at 7 p.m. Burial will be at St. Paul's Cemetery, with military rites.
Memorial contributions may be made to the McDonough District Hospital Hospice Program, Wesley Village Benevolent Fund or St. Paul Parish Hall Building Fund.
Dodsworth-Piper-Wallen Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Please sign guestbook or leave condolences at www.dodsworthfh.com.