James W. “Jim” Meridith, 82, of Highland, IL, died Wednesday, February 5, 2020, at DePaul Hospital, surrounded by his family.
Jim was born September 3, 1937, to James W. and Eunice (nee Snyder) Meridith in Hutsonville, IL. On October 14, 1967, he married Mary Lou Keppler, in Stonington, IL.
Jim served in the U.S. Army during the early 1960’s. He was stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base for 1 l/2 years, and then in Anchorage, Alaska, as a civilian funeral director.
After returning to civilian life, he moved to Springfield, IL, and started working at Illinois Funeral Directors Association, where he met his wife. In 1967, he started working at Bisch & Son Funeral Home in Springfield, IL. In 1976, he purchased the Harris Funeral Home in Highland and changed the name to Meridith Funeral Home in 1978. In October 1990 he purchased the Meyer Funeral Home in Lebanon, IL, and again in October 2007, he purchased the May Funeral Home in Pocahontas. The funeral industry was his passion.
Jim was a former member of the Highland Rotary Club, Masonic Lodge and Shriners. He served as a Deputy Coroner for Madison County for the last 40 years. Jim was a true family man. He never knew a stranger, always very friendly, talkative, and had a unique sense of humor. Jim was very compassionate and empathetic and wanted to help everyone. He was an avid reader, loved to listen to music and dance.
Jim is survived by his beloved wife of 52 years, Mary Lou Meridith, Highland, IL; children, Mary M. (Mark) Tuzik, North Porte, FL, James L. (Denise) Meridith, Highland, IL, Ann B. (Randy) Kleinmann, Highland, IL, John (Jill) Meridith, Honolulu, HI, Jennifer A. Hilling, Highland, IL; grandchildren, Cory (Allison) Tuzik, Casey (Aimee) Tuzik, Alex Tuzik, Rosie Tuzik, MacKenzie Kleinmann, Matthew Kleinmann, Meridith Kleinmann, Jake (Marie) Kretlow, Justin (fiance Maddy Cooper) Kretlow, Lucas Hilling, Ava Hilling, Jimmy Meridith, Sophia Meridith, Tyler Deichmann, Emily Deichmann; great grandchildren, Tyler, Caleb, Lucas, Marianna, Gabriel, and Elena Tuzik, Max and Rosie Kretlow; sister-in-law, Rose Keppler; brother-in-law, John Keppler.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Eunice Meridith; sister, Wilma Parrish; son-in-law, Jeremy Hilling; brothers-in-law, Robert Keppler, Louis Keppler; sister-in-law, Ann Keppler.
Memorials may be made to St. Paul School or Michael J. Fox Foundation, for a Parkinson’s Cure.
Visitation: Sunday, February 9, 2020, from 4:00 to 7:00 pm, at Meridith Funeral Home, Lebanon, IL; Monday, February 10, 2020, from 4:00 to 8:00 pm, and Tuesday, February 11, 2020, from 8:00 to 11:00 am, at Meridith Funeral Home, Highland, IL.
Funeral Service: Tuesday, February 11, 2020, 11:00 am, Meridith Funeral Home, Highland, IL.
Clergy: Deacon Dave Bohnenstiehl
Interment: St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Highland, IL.
Meridith Funeral Home, Highland, IL