James “Jim” Joseph Centko

James “Jim” Joseph Centko

James “Jim” Joseph Centko, 71, of Springfield, formerly of Pana, passed away on Monday, October 24, 2022 surrounded by love. He was born and raised in Streator, IL on March 5, 1951, the son of Thomas and Catherine Kutcha Centko.

He is survived by his loving fiancé whom he adored, Nancy Siders of Springfield; three daughters, Rebecca (William) Polacek of Palos Heights, IL, Sally (Ben) Kuhn of Mackinaw, IL, Jill (Richie) Hamm of Bradenton, FL; and eight grandchildren, Ryan (16), Alayna (13), Will (11), Claire (10), Truman (10), Kayla (24), Elijah (14) and Nixen (11); siblings, Thomas (Karen) Centko of Marquette, MI, and Geraldine Miethke of Phoenix, AZ; several nieces, nephews and cousins; and cat companion, Micky.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and beloved dog, Ozzie.

Jim lived in Pana for 35 years and then more recently moved to Springfield. He was a graduate of Woodland High School in Streator.  He loved woodworking and followed his passion as a self-employed carpenter for Greystone Housing. He was a devout Catholic and attended mass at Sacred Heart Church. Jim was also a proud Slovak, coin and stamp collector, gun enthusiast, avid reader, and enjoyed dancing. He also enjoyed playing cards with all, especially Spoons, Pinochle and Euchre. Jim was a people person and would always say, “Hey! Glad you got to meet me!”. He was a collector of all things “old and new”, and his favorite phrase was “never come home empty handed”.

Jim was creative, intelligent, innovative, charismatic and an endless dreamer.  He enjoyed his coffee breaks with the guys and sharing his wisdom with all who knew him.

Jim was the founding President of Optimist Club of Irvington and was instrumental in starting the volunteer fire department in Irvington, IL. He was also a founding member of Pana Pride and was on the Board of Directors of the Lincoln Prairie Water for 14 years.

Visitation: 4-6 pm, Thursday, November 3, 2022 at Staab Funeral Home – Springfield with a prayer service beginning at 3:45 pm.  Immediately following the visitation, a Celebration of Jim’s Life will take place from 6 – 7 pm, where stories and memories may be shared.

Funeral Mass: 10 am, Friday, November 4, 2022 at Sacred Heart Church with Rev. James Isaacson officiating. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and SPARC.

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One Message for “James “Jim” Joseph Centko”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Dear Rebecca, Sally. and Jill,
    I was very sorry to hear about your father’s passing. My sympathy and love go out to you
    and your families at this time of sorrow. I hope that all the great memories you have help to sustain
    you during this time.
    Love to you all,
    Cousin Linda

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