James Birkey

Obituary of James G. Birkey

Age 87, a lifelong resident, entered Eternal Life, peacefully on Saturday, November 14, 2020 with his loving family by his side.

Preceded in death by his dear parents, Gordon and Mary (Barthelme) Birkey; his sister Lois Cardwell; brothers David and six month old twin brother Jack; special father and mother-in-law Leonard J. and Leona Terlep; along with his dearest nephews Gary and Kenneth Cardwell.

Survived by his loving and devoted wife of 61 years Diane (Terlep) Birkey; two beautiful and loving daughters - and two wonderful, loved sons-in-law: Lora and Glenn Kitchell and Linda and Tom  Kapfer.  Also surviving are his treasured five grandchildren who called him POPPY - two who recently married, now giving Poppy seven cherished grandchildren: Kurt and Ashley Kapfer, Kristin Kitchell, Kalie Kapfer, Kimberly and Jared Fattore and Kevin Kitchell. In addition are his loved extended family members, many fond friends and good neighbors, especially Dave; and also we need to mention his loved rescue buddy, Billy Birkey.

Jim was born to Mary and Gordon on August 14, 1933 growing up in the St. Raymond Catholic School Community. Jim then went on to Joliet Catholic High School and Joliet Junior College. He was a lifelong fan of JC and JCA Football Teams attending all their games, as well as when they went down state! He enjoyed the Cubs, Bears and a Big Fan of Notre Dame Football attending many of their games over the years.

Fourteen years as Postmaster for Lockport and Romeoville, Jim Retired at 55 with 38 years in the service of the U. S. Post Office.

He enjoyed fishing around the area and took many long fishing trips with friends and family, even to Canada. Jim was noted over the years for his competitive nature playing euchre with his friends and family and was even a fun member of the West Side Euchre Club for over twenty years.

Jim and Diane were married at the Cathedral of St. Raymond’s by Father Roger Kaffer on 9-5-59. They were Eucharistic Ministers together for many years. Jim serving over 25 years; always feeling so privileged to have this Honor.

They vacationed yearly in Florida and Wisconsin with family and took many cruises together thru the years. He planned our annual trips to Chicago since Lora and Linda were toddlers and even through the last Christmas season. Jim was a Family Man First - BEING THE CENTER OF OUR FAMILY! He will be gravely missed, but we intend to keep his spirit alive through the sharing of so many loved and funny memories!

Visitation is private at the Funeral Home because of the COVID-19 situation getting worse in our area. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, November 20, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus, 604 Raynor Avenue, Joliet, where masks are required and seating designated. Private Family Interment will be at Resurrection Mausoleum, Romeoville.

Memorials in his name to Joliet Catholic Academy, Cathedral of St. Raymond’s or the Joliet Area Community Hospice Home, if desired.

For more information please call (815) 741-5500 or visit his Memorial Tribute at www.fredcdames.com where you can share a favorite memory or leave an online condolence.


A Mass of Christian Burial

10:00 am
Friday, November 20, 2020
Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus
604 N. Raynor Avenue
Joliet, Illinois, United States
Masks are required and seating designated.


Resurrection Cemetery
Rt. 53 and W. 135th Street
Romeoville, Illinois, United States

Memorial Contributions

Memorials in his name to Joliet Catholic Academy, Cathedral of St. Raymond’s or the Joliet Area Community Hospice Home, would be appreciated.
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