ARTHUR -- James L. Winningham (Jim), 87, was ushered into heaven by his best friend and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Wednesday, October 31, 2018, at the home of his daughter and son-in-law. He was surrounded by his loving and devoted family. They are rejoicing that he is healed and reunited with his mother, Helen Ballentine and his father, Jesse Winningham, who was killed in a car accident when Jim was 2 1/2 years old.
Visitation will be held at Shrader Funeral Home in Arthur on Saturday, November 10, 2018, from 5-8 pm. The Celebration of Life Service will be held on Sunday, November 11, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at REclaimed Food and Spirits 125 N CR 425E Arcola, IL 61910.
Jim was born in a two room hospital in Fayette, MO on January 17, 1931, the son of Jesse and Helen Winningham. He married the love of his life, Janet Jurgens in Arthur, IL on August 21, 1958. Survivors include his wife, Janet; a son, Rick Winningham (Gale) of Hillsborough, CA; a daughter, Rhonda Aikman (Mike) of Arthur, IL; seven grandchildren, James Aikman (Kelsey), Rachel McDonald (Andrew), Andrew Aikman (Kortnee), Kyle Winningham (Allie), Joseph Winningham, Robert Aikman (Ericka), and Grace Winningham; six great grandchildren, Adabelle McDonald, Asa Aikman, Averick McDonald, Arleigh McDonald, Charles Winningham, and Benaiah Aikman; and one sister, Betty Onstott. He was preceded in death by his parents, Helen and Jesse; his in-laws, Ervin and Dorothy Jurgens; and his brother-in-law, Bill Onstott.
Jim grew up in Glasgow, MO, a river town on the Missouri River, and worked many interesting jobs beginning at the age of 8. He helped deliver milk, swept out the pool hall, worked as a shoe shine boy, worked on a dredge boat, worked as a “gandy dancer” on the railroad and worked for the Corps of Engineers. He played basketball for Glasgow High School and loved the game for years.
He attended Central Methodist College but was drafted in 1952 and served as a forward observer in Korea until 1954. He went back to college and graduated in 1955. He moved to California where he worked in the aerospace industry and met his wife, Janet. They were married in Arthur on August 21, 1958 and this past August celebrated their 60th anniversary. They lived in the Los Angeles area until they moved back to Arthur in 1960. He completed a number of graduate banking and investment programs at Southern Illinois University, University of Oklahoma, and University of Wisconsin. In 2015, Jim, along with his son-in-law, Mike, traveled to Washington, DC as part of the Honor Flight Program which recognizes veterans for their service to the country. He was deeply impacted by this trip.
Jim began working for the State Bank of Arthur in 1960, a job he would hold for 57 years. He was very active in banking and in his beloved community of Arthur, IL. He believed he had the responsibility, as a community banker, to help the community prosper, for businesses to flourish and for area employment to grow. He was past president of the Arthur Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Arthur Centennial Celebration, past president of the CBAI, past member of ECIDC, past board member of the Sarah Bush Lincoln Foundation Board, Arthur Rotary member and was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow, recipient of the Honorary Alumni Award from the Arthur Alumni Association, and many more too numerous to list. He was very proud to be from Arthur. When asked where he was from, he said, “Arthur, IL, have you been there?”
Jim loved Jesus and adored his family. He took great comfort in the Bible and in the words of our Lord and prayed daily. The Bible was his most important book but he was a voracious reader of all books, until macular degeneration damaged his sight. Then undeterred, he began listening to audiobooks. Jim loved his grandchildren and great grandchildren more than words can express. He was thrilled to be involved with, and hear about, all their activities. He was very proud of every grandchild. Jim loved the St. Louis Cardinals, and watched every game. He never knew a stranger and always had a positive attitude about life. When asked how he was, he always said either “Fantastic” or “Terrific.”
Memorials may be made to S.A.B.L.E., (Saving Animals By Lasting Encounters - a non profit entity that helps Aikman Wildlife Adventure with the care and feeding of animals) 125 N County Road 425E, Arcola, IL 61910. Jim was their biggest fan!
Online condolences to the family may be sent to www.hilligossshraderfh.com