James Harlan Beatty, a Kentland native, died at his home in Hinsdale, Illinois on Monday, April 26 following a brief illness. He was 85. Jim was born in 1936 in Chicago, Illinois, second son to Stewart Beatty of Alton, Illinois, and Margaret Harlan Beatty of Ambia, Indiana. Jim's earliest childhood years were spent in Chicago and in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After the outbreak of World War II, Jim's father decided to enter the family business operating the grain elevator at Earl Park, and the family relocated to Kentland. Jim attended Kentland Grade School and Kentland Junior-Senior High School. The senior play in which he participated, Best Foot Forward, was a local smash hit. He would remember it fondly for the rest of his life. Jim spent his high school summers working in the nursery and field plots of Edward J. Funk & Sons, and at Murphy's service station on US 41. In 1954 Jim left Kentland to attend Duke University for one year before finishing his degree at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana in 1958. Following graduation, Jim found employment as an Account Executive at Merrill Lynch in Chicago, a position he held for 47 years. In many important respects, however, Jim never left Kentland. He returned regularly to visit friends in town and was often seen watering flowers at the Beatty family plot at Fairlawn Cemetery. Jim maintained a lifelong affection for Kentland Schools and followed the Kentland Blue Devils in all their sports endeavors. He attended his all-school and Class of '54 reunions with near-religious fervor. In later years Jim became active in civic affairs, contributing to renovations of the Kentland Public Library and Kentland Swimming Pool. Jim leaves behind him his wife of 57 years Ann M. Beatty, his brother Stewart Beatty and sister-in-law Kay Beatty, his children and their spouses James H. Beatty Jr. & Clare E. Sullivan, Kathleen & Robert Wunderlich, and five grandchildren: Alice Beatty, Margaret Beatty, Robert Wunderlich Jr., Chad Wunderlich, and Drew Wunderlich. Jim will be buried at Fairlawn Cemetery in Kentland on Friday, April 30 at 1:00 pm. There will be a memorial mass at St. John of the Cross Church in Western Springs on Saturday, May 8, at 11 am, with a visitation hour beginning at 10 am. Please register to attend the mass at stjohnofthecross.org.
Memorial gifts are being accepted at the Evans Scholars Foundation, 2501 Patriot Blvd., Glenview, IL 60626 (wgaesf.org
). Arrangements by Brian Powell Funeral Directors of Hinsdale. For information 630-703-9131 or www.powellfuneraldirectors.com
Published by Newton County Enterprise on May 5, 2021.