James Michael "'Jim'" Vanatta (1952 - 2013)

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James Michael "Jim" Vanatta, 61, of Jacksonville, passed away and went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, after a short but courageous year-long battle with cancer.

He was born June 17, 1952, in Mount Vernon, the son of Charles and Jo Ann (White) Vanatta. He married Katherine R. "Kay" Fleming on July 12, 1980, in Monticello, and she survives.

He is also survived by one sister, Barbara (Tim) Claxton of Canton; one nephew, Seth Michael (Abby) Claxton of Edmond, Okla.; his grandniece, Macyn Claxton; his sister-in-law, Carolyn (Joe) Thompson of Monticello (children, Jared and Samantha); his brother-in-law, Pat Fleming of Bement; along with aunts, uncles and cousins. He also leaves some special friends with whom he golfed, traveled and made lasting memories. He was preceded in death by his parents; and a sister-in-law.

A 1970 graduate of Pekin Community High School, he graduated in 1975 with his Bachelor of Science degree from Illinois State University. Jim worked for the United States Department of Agriculture, retiring from Rural Development in 2012, with 37 years of service. Jim was a Christian and proud to be a joint heir with his Lord. He enjoyed fishing, boating, riding motorcycles and golf, especially making custom golf clubs for family and friends. Jim was also very fond of his beloved cat, Buddy.

A service celebrating his life will be held 2 p.m. Saturday at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin. The family will receive friends one hour before the service at the funeral home. Burial will be at Lakeview Cemetery in Pekin. Memorial contributions may be made to The or to a . To express condolences online, visit
Funeral Home
500 N 4th St
Pekin, IL 61554
(309) 346-2176
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Published in Jacksonville Journal-Courier on Oct. 3, 2013
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