James “Jim” E. Meyer, a longtime member of the Minonk community, passed away on April 17, 2023, at age 88. Jim was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, and was deeply committed to his family and the Minonk community.
Jim grew up in Carlock, IL. Jim and his first wife, Barbara “Barb” (Morrison) Meyer, met while attending Illinois State University and were married in 1955. They started their life in Minonk and raised four children. Jim thrived professionally after joining his father-in-law Bob Morrison’s insurance and real estate agency and demonstrated his commitment to the community by serving as township supervisor, alderman, and mayor. Jim was also an active member of the Masonic Lodge. After Barb’s passing in 1989, Jim married Beverly (Lechner) Meyer in 1991.
Jim showed a talent for singing at an early age and was a member of the men’s chorus at Illinois State University. He shared this talent throughout his life, helping to form the local singing group the Village-Aires. He also performed in multiple theater productions with the Engle Lane Theatre in Streator, IL. Jim and his daughter Kim sang together at countless weddings and funerals. He was a dedicated member of the Minonk Baptist Church, serving as choir director for over 35 years, and he never missed a chance to sing karaoke during yearly trips to Cocoa Beach, FL. Jim and Beverly sang and entertained at the Minonk Heritage nursing home for many years and sang together in the Peoria Civic Chorale.
Jim was a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs and Bears and loved attending MDR and Fieldcrest sporting events. He was always proud to cheer on his children and grandchildren in sports and activities. Jim stayed active and could often be spotted logging his miles walking in Minonk or at Millenia Park. Jim loved to travel and explore new countries and always looked forward to his annual trips with Beverly to Las Olas Beach Club in Florida.
Jim’s true passion was for family. He was always there with a wink, a word of encouragement, and a joke for every situation. He freely shared the weather for the week and the latest Cubs sports stats. He would spontaneously break out in song, lifting the moods of everyone around him. Two weeks ago, on Easter Sunday, Jim gathered with family for a sunny celebration that was full of laughter, song, and love. Jim gave so much to his family and community and was loved by all. He will be sincerely missed by his family and friends.
He is survived by his wife, Beverly Meyer of Minonk; daughter, Kimberly (Duane) Sullivan of Minonk; son, Jeff (Christi) Meyer of Brookfield, WI, and their children: Brandon, Jordan and Logan; son, Eric (Julie) Meyer of Minonk and their children: Myndi (Charlie) Devore, Brett (Lindsay) and Jacob (Derek); son, Craig (Cindy) Meyer of Minonk and their children: Zachary, Nicholas and Mackenzie; stepdaughter, Lora (Bill) Adams of LeRoy and their daughter, Vivian; stepson, David Lechner of Gilbert, AZ, and his children: McKenzie and Shallan; stepson, Paul (Tammy) Lechner of Victoria, British Columbia, and their children: Tygre, Maddox, Braxton, Kiely; four great-granddaughters, Emerson and Marlowe Devore and Finley and Haddie Meyer; sisters-in law, Sue Morrison (James) Burger of Rockford and Margie (Gil) Bishop of Charlotte, MI; nephew, John R. Meyer and many more nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Barbara; his parents; his brother, Warren “Bud” Meyer; sister-in-law, Marie “Billie” Meyer; and brothers-in-law, Bill and Bob Noble.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, April 21, 2023 at Ruestman-Harris Funeral Home in Minonk with a one-hour visitation prior to services. Rev. Richard Reed will officiate. Visitation will be also be held Thursday from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be at Minonk Township Cemetery.
Jim’s family would like to thank the Minonk Ambulance Squad, the Woodford County Sheriff’s Department, and the staff at St. James Hospital in Pontiac, Illinois. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to Minonk Baptist Church, Minonk Ambulance Squad, or Fieldcrest Football. Online condolences can be sent to family at www.ruestmanharrisfuneralhome.com.