HAMILTON, Ill. -- James Michael Drozdz, 53, of Hamilton, died at 1 a.m. Sunday (Dec. 29, 2013) in Wildwood, Ga.
Jim was born Jan. 23, 1960, in Chicago, a son of James A. Drozdz and Joan M. Moore Brown. On June 2, 1984, he was united in marriage to Barbara Goodin in St. Paul's Catholic Church in Macomb.
He attended Incarnation Catholic School and was a 1978 graduate of Alan B. Shepard High School in Palos Heights. Jim received his bachelor's degree with honors in law enforcement in 1981 from Western Illinois University in Macomb. In 1990, Jim received his master's degree from Western Illinois University and was a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. He received his juris doctor degree in 1992 from Southern Illinois University School of Law and was admitted to practice before Illinois courts. In 1999, he was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. In July of 2004, Jim received his Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Iowa
and was a member of Pi Lambda Theta Honor Society.
Jim had served with the Illinois State Police from 1984 until 2004, when he became state's attorney of Hancock County. He had served in many capacities during that time, including the executive directorship of the Division of Internal Investigation in Springfield. He had served as the Henderson County Assistant State's Attorney from 1993 to 1995. He also served his profession as an adjunct professor in the LEJA Department at Western Illinois University and as a research fellow with the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Alexandria, Va.
He was a member of the National District Attorneys Association and the Hancock County Bar Association. Jim also served as a special assistant to the Illinois Attorney General and was a legal advisor to the Illinois State Police in the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
Jim was an active community member serving as a paramedic for the Hancock County Ambulance Service and a firefighter
for the Hamilton Fire Department. He was a member and past president of the Carthage Kiwanis Club and former member of the Carthage Lions Clubs. He was currently on the Hancock County Republican Precinct Committee. Jim was an active member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus and had served on the Immaculate Conception Parish Council.
Jim's many interests included playing the bagpipes for area events and funerals; teaching criminal law, criminal procedure, EMS and EMT classes; body building and fitness training; traveling; and semi-truck driving.
Jim is survived by his wife, Barbara Drozdz, of Hamilton; his father, James Drozdz, of Steger; his mother and stepfather, Joan and Gordon Brown of Crestwood; a sister, Debra Reule of Crestwood; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Carol and Margie Goodin of Plymouth; a sister-in-law, Mary (Dale) Thompson of Macomb; two brothers-in-law, David Goodin of Monroe City, Mo., and Daniel (Barb Coovert) Goodin of Keokuk, Iowa; four nephews, Mark (fianceÃ©, Alex Porcelli) Thompson, Matthew (Andrea) Thompson, Michael (fianceÃ©, Michele Teslicka) Thompson and Michael Reule; two nieces, Samantha (Tyler Huffman) Goodin and Rachel Reule; one great-niece, Lyllie Huffman; one great-nephew, Tucker Thompson; two aunts; and several cousins.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents; aunts and uncles; one cousin; and an infant nephew.
SERVICES: 10 a.m. Saturday in Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Carthage. Burial will be in St. Patrick's Cemetery, Raritan.
VISITATION: 3 to 8 p.m. Friday in the Printy Funeral Home, Carthage, with a recitation of the rosary at 8 p.m.
MEMORIALS: Immaculate Conception Catholic parish hall, Hamilton Fire Department, West Hancock Canine Rescue, or My Matthew's House in Carthage.
ARRANGEMENTS: Printy Funeral Home, Carthage.