James Wright

September 18, 1937 ~ March 20, 2022 (age 84)


James M. Wright, 84, of Royal passed away at 12:55 A.M. Sunday March 20, 2022 at Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana.

 He was born September 18, 1937, in St. Joseph, MO to Lyle D. and Margaret V. (Hills) Wright. He attended Walsh High School in Ottumwa, Iowa and graduated in 1955. Following high school he attended St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa and graduated with a B.S. degree in Business Adm. in 1960. After graduation he spent 6 months on active duty with th Army National Guard. On July 20, 1963, he was united in marriage to Betty Jean Edwards in Peoria Heights, IL.

 He began his retail store management career with Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co., in 1960. After managing stores in Kewanee, Joliet, Kankakee and Michigan City, IN, he was made store manager of Carson's at Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana in 1977. A year later he was given the added responsibility of Mall Manager of Lincoln Square. In 1979 he resigned after 17 years of service with Carson's and purchased Brash Flower Shop in Urbana. In 1983 he joined K's Merchandise in Champaign. In February of 2003 he retired from K's after 20 years serving the Company in various capacities, including Store Manager and District Manager.

 James was a Commissioner of Kankakee Motor Parking Commission in 1969 and Kiwanis Peanut Day Chairman in 1970. He received th Award of Excellence from Kankakee County United Fund Community Chest and Red Cross, for being the 1970 Campaign Chairman. In 1971 he received the Award of Excellence for being President of Kankakee County Community Chest. He received Certificate of Appreciation for being a Director of Urbana Chamber of Commerce, 1980-1982. He was President of St. Thomas School Board in Philo, in the late 1970's. He served as Village Clerk in Royal from 2005-2015 and was given a Community Service Award in April 2015.

 He is survived by his wife Betty of 58 years; daughter Lisa A. (Vincent) Perri of Champaign, daughter Courtney S. (Brian Zbinden) Schlueter of Royal, his sister Susan A. (Michael) Nordgren of Des Moines, Iowa, five grandchildren Lindsey and Michael Perri of Champaign and Maggie, Jake, and Jesse Schlueter of Royal.

 He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers George W. Wright and John D. Wright.

 He enjoyed birding and doing family history and genealogy. He was a St. Louis Cardinal's fan.

 Private graveside services will be held.

 Later this spring a Celebration of Life Service will be held.

 Memorials may be made to Carle Hospice.

 Freese Funeral Home 302 E. Grand Ave. St. Joseph is in charge of arrangements.

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