CONNERSVILLE- James Robert Willhelm, 78, passed away Saturday December 26, 2020 at St. Vincent Heart Center in Carmel, Indiana. A son of Philip John and Marcella Katherine (Burger) Willhelm, James was born in Connersville, Indiana on December 12, 1942. One of twelve children, he grew up on a farm east of Harrisburg helping his parents milk cows and raising hogs and chickens. He graduated from Fayette Central High School with the class of 1960. James honorably served his country in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War and Cuban Missile Crisis from 1962-1965 while stationed on the U.S.S. Champlain. James never lost his love of farming and the outdoors. He was there to help family members with their farming operations, enjoyed working in his yard and tending his own garden that he shared with friends and family. James had not retired and was currently employed at Copeland Corp. in Rushville. He remained active by push mowing many yards during the mowing season. He had previously been employed by D & M and Stant Manufacturing in Connersville. James loved his family. His children and grandchildren meant the world to him. Any time spent with them were his happiest.
Survivors include 3 children, Lori (John) Kennedy of Connersville, Ryan (Kristy) Willhelm of New Palestine and Tricia ((Jay) Hughes of Connersville; 10 grandchildren, Jeramie and Justin Horn, Brandon and Courtney Kennedy, Kailey Heighway, Kyle and Cassidy Willhelm, Samantha Snyder, Trey and Lindsy Hughes; 10 great grandchildren; 10 siblings, Margaret Hamilton, Elizabeth Mains, Joseph (Sally) Willhelm, Louis (Penny) Willhelm, Sister Agnes Willhelm. Rita (David) Erlewein, Joan Fearnow, Francis (Patsy) Willhelm, Barbara (Cliff) Allen, Tommy (Kathy) Willhelm; several nieces and nephews.
James was preceded in death by his father on September 12, 1973; his mother on March 9, 2006; sister, Martha Sprague on June 5, 1987 and the mother of his children, the former Linda D. May on May 2, 2016.
Following cremation at Marshall & Erlewein Funeral Home, Dublin, a Celebration of Life will be held at a future date. Memorial Contributions can be made to St. Gabriel Catholic Church- 232 West 9th Street/ Connersville, IN 47331.
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