Milton James, 81, of Glen Carbon, formerly of Granite City, passed away on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis.
Milton was born on Feb. 2, 1934, in Granite City, a son of the late John and Thelma (Hershbach) James.
Milton proudly served his country, and was a Veteran of both the United States Air Force Reserves and the United States Army. During his Army career, Milton served under President Dwight Eisenhower at the White House. He had retired from Granite City Steel as a general foreman in 1992 after 40 years of dedicated service. He was a member of St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Glen Carbon. He was also a 4th Degree member of the Knight of Columbus.
Milton enjoyed trout fishing, bowling, camping, traveling and attending religious retreats. His greatest joy was spending time with his family and friends. Milton loved to laugh, but most of all he loved his family. He was a loving husband, a proud father and grandfather, a cherished friend, and had the amazing ability to make friends out of total strangers. Milton loved God, enjoyed life and will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him.
In addition to his parents, Milton was preceded in death by his first wife, Beatrice (Lindner) James, who passed away on March 27, 1986, and by one brother, Bob James.
He is survived by his devoted wife, Juanita (Davis) James, whom he married on April 8, 1989, in Granite City; his loving children, Diane (Tom) Harrington of Granite City, Teresa (John) Maggio of Collinsville, David (Brigid) James of Ballwin, Mo., Laura (Brent) Hartman of Collinsville; dear stepchildren, Patricia (Robert) Ritz of Troy, Mo., Katherine (Glen) Pennell-Cooperman of Parker, Colo., and Tony (Caron) Stajduhar of Milton, Ga.; brother, Don (Betty) James of Granite City; sister, Gloria Rains of Granite City; proud grandfather to 16 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; and extended family and many friends.
Visitation will be held from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road, Granite City.
In celebration of his life, a funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, at St. Cecilia Catholic, Glen Carbon, with Father Al Allen officiating. Milton will be laid to rest next to his first wife, Beatrice, at Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Edwardsville.
Memorial donations may be given as Masses or to Autism Speaks, American Cancer Society or the Salvation Army.
Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.irwinchapel.com.