James J. Wellwood, 91

 

James “Jim” J. Wellwood, 91, passed away at 10:53 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital following an illness. He was born June 28, 1926 in New York City to Samuel Moses Wellwood and Jeanette Smith Wellwood. He married Lucinda “Lucy” Kretschmer on Aug.14. 1954. He was preceded in death by his parents and by one sister, Janet Wellwood.

Surviving are his wife of 63 years, Lucy Wellwood; children Jim (Jackie), and Cindy (Charlie) Wellwood Burke Van Slyke; 10 grandchildren, Jamie (Ed) Fehr Wellwood, Jennifer Wellwood, Jimmy Wellwood, Jonathan (Shelbi) Wellwood, Joanna (Austin) Yackley Wellwood, Josiah Wellwood, Julianne Wellwood, Conner Burke, Evan Burke and Ryan Burke currently serving in the US Army; 3 great grandchildren Addison and Emma Wellwood and Delainey Yackley; and waiting for the arrival of twin Fehr’s due in February and a baby Yackley due in July; a twin brother John (Joan) Wellwood; sister Sheila (the late Ben) Nickolson; sister-in-law Marie (Dale) Gierke; and many nieces and nephews.

Jim grew up in the Depression and was part of the Greatest Generation. He lost his own father at an early age. Life was hard. He helped provide for the family at an early age. Jim and his brother John were male sopranos singing at churches in the Oak Park area. Jim was a gear head before they called it that. He worked on a plethora of old cars, boats and motorcycles growing up. He worked at a gas station pumping gas and also made machine parts for the war effort in cottage home front businesses during high school. He was a 1945 graduate of Oak Park River Forest High School. After high school he was drafted into the US Navy. During his basic training at Great Lake Naval Base, he became sick and spent most of his time in the infirmary. He was honorably discharged after the A-bomb ended the war. He often stated that he fought the battle of the “Great Lakes.” He wore the ruptured duck armed service pin on his hat with honor for many years. Jim attended Bradley University on the GI bill and graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. He worked with a focus on sound engineer for many companies over the years. He met his wife at the Chicago Screw Company.  Early in his career he worked at Ampex Studios, an early pioneer of the cassette tape industry and finished with a 23-year career at Shure Brothers (microphones and sound production engineering). Some of the milestones in his life were designing a phonograph cartridge and microphone mixer (which was patented) and installing the pipe organ at Elmhurst Presbyterian Church. He was an avid gardener, having inherited his mother’s green thumb, which helped him become a Master Gardener after retirement. He could touch the tip of his nose with his tongue.  He was very fastidious and one of his favorite bits of wisdom was, “cut once measure twice.” He was a quiet humble man who liked working behind the scenes. He was a member of Christ Church of Oak Brook for more than 35 years. Running the soundboard and recording church services was one of his favorite activities. He and his wife helped many people over the years and devoted countless hours to volunteering and giving back to the community and serving those in need.

Special thanks to Shirley Burnside, Shay White and Evan in this time of passing.

Funeral Services were held on Saturday, Jan, 13, 2018 at Elmhurst Presbyterian Church, 367 S. Spring Rd., Elmhurst. Interment private at Chapel Hill Gardens West Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, Memorials will be appreciated for the Elmhurst Park District Wilder Park Conservatory, c/o People for Elmhurst Parks, P.O. Box 1303, Elmhurst; or the Salvation Army, 1S415 Summit Ave., Oakbrook Terrace, IL  60181. Arrangements provided by Ahlgrim Funeral Home. Info 630-834-3515 or ahlgrim.com.

 

 

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