Jim Davidson
1936 - 2020
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Jim Davidson

Born: June 3, 1936; in Chicago, IL

Died: July 17, 2020; in Aurora, IL

It is with heavy hearts that we share the passing of Jim Davidson, who peacefully made his way out of this world on July 17, 2020, at his home in Aurora, Illinois.

Jim was born on June 3, 1936, in Chicago, Illinois to parents Robert & Evelyn (Pocock) Davidson. He grew up there and graduated from Amundsen High School in 1954. He was a voracious Cubs and Bears fan. As a boy, it wasn't unusual for his dad to pull him out of school to sneak off to Wrigley Field to catch a game now and then. Seeing his Cubbies win the World Series was a dream come true.

In 1958 he moved to DeKalb to attend NIU and earned a degree in education. He dedicated 20 years of his life to teaching and coaching in the DeKalb School District. He taught at South Junior High (the original Huntley Middle School), North Junior High (the original Clinton Rosette Middle School), and DeKalb High School. Jim was famous for his story-telling in the classroom and was appreciated by his students for his energetic, engaging teaching style. He made learning fun and was fondly referred to as "Mr. D".

One of Jim's greatest passions was coaching. Throughout his career, he coached football, wrestling, and track and was highly regarded by his athletes. On any given Saturday afternoon, when he wasn't on the football field or in the mat room, Jim could be found teaching wrestling moves, playing catch, or orchestrating 50-yard dashes with his daughters. Although the many trips to the state wrestling tournaments and a second-place finish in the state football finals were highlights, his greatest coaching accomplishment was working with athletes of all abilities, helping them to realize their potential.

Jim also played an influential role in the district as a strong union leader. He served as the president of the DeKalb Classroom Teachers Association as well as the lead negotiator for the 1971 teacher's strike, which resulted in changes that revolutionized teaching and learning in DeKalb Schools. All the while, he was able to help establish the DeKalb Park District Girls' Softball League at a time when sports opportunities for girls were minimal. Over the years, Jim's five daughters were members of the league. He was an avid fan of each and every one of them and rarely missed games.

After 20 years of teaching, Jim left the classroom only to enter a new one - law school at Northern Illinois University. He had a long and fulfilling career in private practice serving the DeKalb County communities. During this time, he was a member of several community boards, including Opportunity House and DeKalb Hospice. Jim was also able to continue his teaching career at Kishwaukee College as an instructor in Business Law, where he once again relished his time in the classroom.

Jim had a lifelong curiosity, desire to learn and he loved discussing and debating on a wide range of topics with anyone who would join him! He was known for his unbounded enthusiasm & zest for life. No matter the endeavor, traveling, carving the Thanksgiving turkey, putting up his Christmas village, or working in the garden - Jim was all in. Even at the end of his life, when jigsaw puzzles were his main passion, he did them with gusto.

Jim would agree that "Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, 'Wow!'" - Hunter Thompson.

Jim is survived by Donna Jenkins and her sons Chad Prather and Brad (Jamie) Prather; his girls: Sharon (Ras) Oxnevad, Kathi (Michael) Welter, Pam (Gary) Lothson, Cindy (Mark) Buckner, and Jamie (Joe) Jaques; grandchildren: Andy (Erin), Ben (Atalie), Karli, Anna (Ryan), Max (Natalie), Samantha (Steve), Tyler, Michael (Marisa), Jake, Jim, Abbey, Vanessa, Emily, Allysia, Anthony; 8 great-grandchildren; brothers Robert (Bonnie) Davidson and Don Davidson; sister Sue (Marve) Huizinga; 5 nieces and 5 nephews; special friends: Barbara and Wayne Jenkins, Al and Cathy Meo; and many supportive friends and neighbors.

A memorial fund has been established in Jim's name for the DeKalb Classroom Teachers Association Scholarship for Future Teachers. Donations may be made by mail, checks made out to DCTA, and mailed to DCTA at 901 S. 4th Street, DeKalb, IL 60115.

Jim's family and friends extend a heartfelt thank you to hospice for making his journey from this life a peaceful one.

A private celebration of life will take place with Jim's family & close friends due to the current pandemic.


To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The MidWeek News on Sep. 12, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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25 entries
September 18, 2020
So sorry to hear this. His home in Dekalb was always so lively with his girls. My deepest condolences to hi family and my friend Kathi.
Stephanie Cheney
September 18, 2020
Fine person..Fine coach..Miss our brief chats in the 80's in front of his home..
Jerry Hansen
Student
September 18, 2020
“Pleasure in ones job puts perfection in the work”. As one of his students - He was as fine a coach, teacher and human being as There ever was .




Nick Kalodimos
Student
September 18, 2020
Loved Mr D and his whole family, enjoyed many special times, he was a great guy, I know he smiling heaven too, hugs and prayers to the whole family.
Dianna Busha
Friend
September 18, 2020
Jim was my Rock! Went through my divorce with me and we became friends. Like a dad giving advice to his daughter. I then went to work for Doherty,Davidson, and Lothson to pay off the remainder of my bill and became family to all that worked at the firm. A great man, a great mentor,a great friend. Will miss you Jim God speed my friend.
Jane Anderson
Friend
September 17, 2020
Did not know Jim well but learned and admired his “renaissance” life through his sister Sue Huizinga. I always thought he was quite a force in life. I am sure there is more than the usual big void in the lives of family and friends. My thoughts are with them all.
Mary Jo Campbell
Friend
September 16, 2020
RiP MR D. people forget what an EXCELLENT teacher he was. best i had at north jr. hi(rosette) great guy also really cared about us kids god bless you! sincerely,paul "adolph" miller
paul p miller
Student
September 15, 2020
Mr Davidson Jimmy Jet was a joy in my life I just Loved that man as a mentor coach life long friend.What a Man,What a Man
Joe Japuntich
Student
September 14, 2020
Me. Davidson was one of my favorite teachers at Kish, about 31 years ago. He was very interesting and I enjoyed his class. A few years later, I went to him for help with a ticket (I didn’t know any attorneys other than him). He took care of everything, wrote a letter to the judge and never wanted payment. He said knowing I got an A in his class was all he needed to know. I never forgot his kindness.
Terri C
Student
September 14, 2020
Kathi and Davidson Family:

Jim was a wonderful man who exerted a positive influence on many of us during our formative years. May he rest in peace.
Stephan Japuntich
Student
September 14, 2020
Jim and I had several conversations. Over the years that usually ended in “let’s agree to disagree,but we were always friends.
I miss those times .
Rest in pease old friend
Jim Anderson
Friend
September 13, 2020
Rest in peace to a law school classmate and colleague. Jim was a good person to be around. He will be missed.
Richard G Larsen
Classmate
September 13, 2020
A beautiful loving and insightful obituary tribute to a very special one of kind guy..
Don and Kathy Buckner
Friend
September 13, 2020
Mr. D was my driving instructor at DHS. After school I'd run into him at various places. Always a hello and how you doing. He was such a good guy. I respected him highly. RIP Mr. D.
Jodine M Harris
September 12, 2020
While most of us will " withhold a comment Or question", Jim was always one to tell you what was on his mind or ask what was on your mind. I appreciated that in him and tried To adopt a more subtle version for myself. He loved life, teaching, coaching, and people. He left a lasting impact on all that he met. All the best to your family! Thank you, Jim and RIP.
James Halvorson
Friend
September 12, 2020
Sincere condolences to Jim's daughters. Jim and your mom were close friends of my wife and I while attending NIU and living in the married housing units in the late 1950s. We remained close until moving to California in 1961. We always made a point of connecting with Jim whenever visiting DeKalb. He was a great guy and will be sincerely missed.
Bob and Pat Hoffman
Friend
September 12, 2020
Rest well Jim, I really enjoyed your class at kishwaukee college, it’s helped me navigate life a few times , thank you and Godspeed ✝
Tom Wojcik
Friend
September 12, 2020
Jim’s light shines bright over his neighborhood here at Savannah in Aurora. He was not just a teacher in the classroom, he taught life. My family will cherish the days and years we shared. Go in peace dear friend.
Dan
Friend
September 12, 2020
My deepest and most sincere condolences to Donna and to Jim’s familia. Jim was loved by all at the courthouse, I truly enjoyed working with him while I was there. He is a great friend who will be greatly missed but never ever forgotten... Descansa en paz mi amigo.

Grace Rodríguez
Grace
Friend
September 12, 2020
Sorry for your loss. Jim was a great influence on my life. He was a great man and coach. Always a positive person. My prayers are with the family.
Matt Roach
Student
September 12, 2020
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Cathy Meo
September 12, 2020
My sincere condolences to Jim's family. He was a kind man who always had a smile on his face. I will miss him very much.
Stephanie Malone
Friend
September 12, 2020
Coach Davidson always was an inspiration and a life force to be reckoned with. I treasure my memories of him and will miss him greatly. My condolences and prayers go out to his family and friends. Rest In Peace Coach D, you really did live life to it’s fullest.
Trent Taylor
Friend
September 12, 2020
I was the Realtor and Jim the attorney for many real estate transactions and always enjoyed our times at the closing table--that smile and his humor were always welcome additions to any closing! He always made you feel important to the project you were working on. He was a wonderful and very fun and professional attorney! Thanks for making those closings we had go smoother because you were their attorney!
Diane M Hammon
Friend
September 12, 2020
Saddened to hear of Jim's passing. He was a dynamic educator and role model who greatly influenced my life. I eventually became a teacher and school administrator. What a wonderful legacy he leaves behind.
Brad Albion
Student
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