James R Calhoun, 84, passed away early Thursday morning, July 28, 2022 at The Lamoine Assisted Living & Memory Care, Macomb, Illinois.
He was born August 5, 1937 in Monmouth, IL to Weldon and Helen (Anjal) Calhoun. He was united in marriage to Judy Simpson December 18, 1958 at Norwood Presbyterian Church in Mercer County, IL. She survives.
Also surviving are two children, Julie Hannen (Pete) and Jeff Calhoun (Melissa) of Macomb, two grandchildren, Amber Hannen Snyder (Derrick) of Dayton, OH and Alex Hannen (Chloe) of Macomb, and three great grandchildren, Briar and Oliver Snyder and Himiko Hannen, brothers, Tom (Donna) Calhoun of Attleboro, MA and Sam Calhoun (Sandy) of Indpls., IN., and 5 nieces and nephews.
Jim was raised on a family farm south of Aledo, IL and attended Calhoun School, a one-room country school. Following graduation from Aledo High School in 1955, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy for 3 years and served on the aircraft carriers USS Randolph and USS Saratoga.
Jim realized the importance of education and spent much of his life going to school and teaching. He earned the Bachelor of Arts degree from Monmouth College in 1961. His first year of teaching was at Alexis (IL) High School, where he was the only math teacher. The next two years he taught math at Roosevelt Jr. High in Champaign, IL, and earned an MS degree at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Oklahoma State was next, where he studied on a National Science Year Institute, continued several summers and earned the Doctor of Education degree.
In 1965 the Calhoun family moved to Macomb with Jim teaching Math at Western Illinois University. By the 1980’s Jim decided to change from math to computer science and left WIU to study at Univ. of Iowa, where in 1982 he earned an MS in Computer Science and taught two years at Sangamon State University in Springfield, IL. Jim returned to teach computer science at WIU in 1986 and in 1989 became the founding director of Academic Computing.
During his teaching tenure at WIU he received a Distinguished Service Award (1991) and several departmental awards for Excellence in Leadership, Outstanding Teacher (Graduate and Undergraduate).
He served First Presbyterian Church as Elder, Deacon, Treasurer, Finance Committee and the Pastor Nominating Committee. He was a Lions Club Member for a time as well as a Barbershopper and Toastmaster Club member.
After retirement from WIU in 1995, Jim and Judy and son Jeff/Melissa brought the internet to Macomb by starting the business, Infobahn Outfitters. They also brought the internet to nine surrounding small towns and many schools.
Jim was a very patient, kind, humble, generous, diplomatic, witty guy. He loved his family and travel, including three trips to Hawaii, camping trips out west in early years, and he loved the Lake House at Lake Warren for 10 years after retirement. He was a very special guy, much loved and respected, and will be so missed by all who knew him and loved him.
Cremation rites have been accorded. Funeral service will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Macomb at 400 East Carroll St. on Saturday, August 13 with visitation with family at 10:00 a.m. followed by the service at 11:00. Burial of ashes will follow at Oakwood Cemetery. Memorials may be given to First Presbyterian Church of Macomb, Alzheimer’s Disease Research, Memorials may be made to the WIU Foundation to go to the UNIVERSITY-TECHNOLOGY.
Clugston-Tibbitts Funeral Home in Macomb is in charge of arrangements.
You may leave condolences and sign the guest book online at clugston-tibbitts.com.