James G. Birkey
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James G. Birkey "Jim"

Age 87, a lifelong resident, entered Eternal Life, peacefully on Saturday, November 14, 2020 with his loving family by his side.

Preceded in death by his dear parents, Gordon and Mary (Barthelme) Birkey; his sister Lois Cardwell; brothers David and six month old twin brother Jack; special father and mother-in-law Leonard J. and Leona Terlep; along with his dearest nephews Gary and Kenneth Cardwell.

Survived by his loving and devoted wife of 61 years Diane (Terlep) Birkey; two beautiful and loving daughters - and two wonderful, loved sons-in-law: Lora and Glenn Kitchell and Linda and Tom Kapfer. Also surviving are his treasured five grandchildren who called him POPPY - two who recently married, now giving Poppy seven cherished grandchildren: Kurt and Ashley Kapfer, Kristin Kitchell, Kalie Kapfer, Kimberly and Jared Fattore and Kevin Kitchell. In addition are his loved extended family members, many fond friends and good neighbors, especially Dave; and we also need to mention his loved rescue buddy, Billy Birkey.

Jim was born to Mary and Gordon on August 14, 1933 growing up in the St. Raymond Catholic School Community. Jim then went on to Joliet Catholic High School and Joliet Junior College. He was a lifelong fan of JC and JCA Football Teams attending all their games, as well as when they went down state! He enjoyed the Cubs, Bears and a Big Fan of Notre Dame Football attending many of their games over the years.

Fourteen years as Postmaster for Lockport and Romeoville, Jim Retired at 55 with 38 years in the service of the U. S. Post Office.

He enjoyed fishing around the area and took many long fishing trips with friends and family, even to Canada. Jim was noted over the years for his competitive nature playing euchre with his friends and family and was even a fun member of the West Side Euchre Club for over twenty years.

Jim and Diane were married at the Cathedral of St. Raymond's by Father Roger Kaffer on 9-5-59. They were Eucharistic Ministers together for many years. Jim serving over 25 years; always feeling so privileged to have this Honor.

They vacationed yearly in Florida and Wisconsin with family and took many cruises together thru the years. He planned our annual trips to Chicago since Lora and Linda were toddlers and even through the last Christmas season. Jim was a Family Man First - BEING THE CENTER OF OUR FAMILY! He will be gravely missed; but we intend to keep his spirit alive through the sharing of so many loved and funny memories!

Visitation is private at the Funeral Home because of the COVID-19 situation getting worse in our area. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m., on Friday, November 20, 2020, at the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus, 640 N. Raynor Ave., Joliet, IL, where masks are required and seating designated. Private Family Interment will be at Resurrection Mausoleum, Romeoville.

Memorials in his name to Joliet Catholic Academy, Cathedral of St. Raymond's or the Joliet Area Community Hospice Home, if desired.

For more information please call (815) 741-5500 or visit his Memorial Tribute at www.fredcdames.com where you can share a favorite memory or leave an online condolence.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Herald-News from Nov. 18 to Nov. 19, 2020.
Mass of Christian Burial
10:00 AM
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Fred C. Dames Funeral Home and Crematory Joliet Chapel
Not sure what to say?
4 entries
November 22, 2020
I’m so sorry for your loss. My thoughts & prayers are with your family.❤
Cheryl Pirc
November 18, 2020
Dear Diane and family,
We are so very sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. We will not be able to attend his service as we will be traveling home from florida. We certainly will miss seeing him taking his daily walks with your dog. You and he will be in our thoughts and prayers.
Jim and Mary Kay Grace
November 18, 2020
Our deepest sympathy to Diane and family.
Marian and Bob Edmonson
November 18, 2020
One of my late dad's closest and dearest friends. May he rest in peace.
Karen Ward
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