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James G. Luecking
September 7, 1951 ~ June 25, 2023 (age 71) 71 Years Old
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Retired Champaign Police Chief James G. Luecking (Jim) of Urbana, formerly of St. Joseph and Champaign, passed away at 9:45 A.M. Sunday June 25, 2023 at his home.
Jim was born in Belleville, IL on September 7, 1951 and raised in St. Libory, the son of Henry and Rita (Mueth) Luecking. They precede him in death, along with an infant sister, Lara. He married Brenda Lea (Bohlen) Luecking on February 3, 1973 in St. Joseph, IL. Jim was a devoted husband to Brenda for the rest of his life and she survives.
He was an extraordinarily proud father to his daughter, Gretchen Lara (AKA "Peanut") (Nathan) Pendell of High Springs, FL. Jim is also survived by his brothers and sisters, Steve (Peg) Luecking of Chicago, IL; Dan (Jan) Luecking of Fayetteville, AR; Bruce (LaVella) Luecking of Poteau, OK; Nancy (Glen) Kruse of Rochester, IL; Tom (Laura) Luecking of Ormond Beach, FL; Angie (Dan) Davis of Mascoutah, IL; Glenn (Kelly) Luecking of St. Libory, IL and Dr. Jane (Sean) Hogan of Mundelein, IL. He is also survived by numerous nephews, nieces, a brother-in-law Steve Bohlen of Louisville, KY and mother-in-law Betty Bohlen of Savoy, IL.
He was a 1973 graduate of the University of Illinois where he earned a BA in Psychology. He later received an AS in Law Enforcement from Parkland College and in 2016 was named as one of Parkland's 50 notable alumni. Jim devoted over 40 years of his life to law enforcement, joining the Champaign Police Department in 1973 and retiring as Chief in 2003. He always strived for the highest degree of integrity in his profession and with the community he served. He took a genuine and caring interest in the safety of officers and led quietly by example.
Two years after his retirement, he joined ILEAS as the Special Teams Manager. He was instrumental in the formation, development and management of the ILEAS Teams program which included Weapons of Mass Destruction Special Response Teams and Mutual Aid Response/Mobile Field Force Teams. In addition, he was a friend to the 9 local Bomb Squads, devoting time and grant funds to help equip them to make them more efficient and safer. He retired from ILEAS in 2016.
During his career, in addition to his work with Law Enforcement he belonged to a number of community boards, including the Children's Home and Aid Society of Illinois, the Roundhouse Advisory Board, the Crisis Nursery Advisory Board, the University of Illinois Police Training Institute Advisory Board, the Champaign County Domestic Violence Steering Committee, the Rape Crisis Center Advisory Board, the Mental Health Center Homeless Shelter Advisory Board, Champaign County Crimestoppers, the St. Joseph Township Library Board and also served on the Church Council at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church.
Jim enjoyed antiquing with his wife, golfing, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Fighting Illini and was a voracious reader.
If you so choose his family requests memorials be made to PBPA Unit 7 P.O. Box 3524 Champaign, IL 61826.
A Celebration of Life visitation will be held Friday June 30, 2023 from 9:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. at Freese Funeral Home 302 E. Grand Ave. St. Joseph. At 11:00 A.M. a Law Enforcement Walk Through will be held. Graveside services will be at 11:30 A.M. Friday at Friends Cemetery, St. Joseph.