James W. Balfanz, 64, of Chillicothe passed away on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at his home. James (Jimmy) was born on Feb. 22, 1954 in Naperville the son of James W. and Dorothy (Gadtke) Balfanz. He married Judith A. Crawford-Madl on Sept. 9, 1989 in Brown Deer, WI. Surviving is his wife, Judith A. Balfanz of Chillicothe; one daughter, Jamie Balfanz of Chillicothe; one step-daughter, Sheila (Dean) Thierfelder of Waukesha, WI; one step-son, Richard (Michelle) Madl of Sparland; five step-grandchildren: Melanie, Morgan, Isabelle, LilliAnne, and Savanna; one brother, Dennis (Donna) Balfanz of Millington; two sisters, Denise Pertell and Bonny Balfanz both of Warrenville; and two nephews, Trevor and Clayton (Lori) Pertell. He is preceded in death by his parents and one-step son, Steven Madl. Jimmy after graduating from Morrison Institute of Technology with an Engineering Degree, started his own excavating business up near Chicago. Years later worked at Hyster Co. in Kewanee. Jimmy was a Senior Development Engineer and Service Tool Consultant for Caterpillar. He was a member of the Chillicothe Sportsman's Club, he also enjoyed airplanes and flying with his friends out of the Lacon Airport. His love for cars and motorcycles brought him many lasting friendships through racing at Cordova Dragway with the unforgettable Purple Pinto. To him a stranger was only a friend he hadn't met yet and everywhere he went, he gained a new friend. Jimmy was always helping others, always active and on the go. His positive energy lifted everyone up. He will be missed by many and is loved by all. A Celebration of Life will be held on Sat. Oct. 20, 2018 from 2:00-5:00 pm followed by a prayer service at Weber-Hurd Funeral Home in Chillicothe, IL.
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