Obituary: James Ernest 'Jim' Ray

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James Ernest “Jim” Ray

James Ernest “Jim” Ray

James Ernest “Jim” Ray, 68, passed away unexpectedly while visiting family in Raleigh, North Carolina on Nov. 18, 2019. 

Mr. Ray was born Sept. 9, 1951 in Ripley, Tennessee; he was one of four children of the late James E. Ray and Altie (Chipman) Ray.

Jim was able to live a very full life. In his early years, “Jimmy Ray” served proudly and was honorably discharged from the United States Air Force. Jim was an avid horseback rider and go kart racer, bringing home many trophies and stories that he was able to proudly display and share. 

From beginning to end, Jim could always be found on the golf course. The golf course is where he was able to live his happiest life, surrounded by peers that made him laugh and pushed him to play better. He was competitive but was always looking for ways to help his friends enjoy a better game.

When Jim was not found on the golf course or race track, he worked hard to provide for his family by running a successful HVAC contractor business for over 30 years, later taking his expertise out of the field by becoming a plans examiner/code enforcer. Beyond his knowledge of HVAC, he was skilled working with cars, construction, plumbing, electrical — you name it, he could do it. Jim never hesitated sharing his expertise, and always wanted to help his family and friends in any way he could. He was known as a person to call and lean on in a time of need.

Jim spent most of his life in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, where he and his wife, Sue, raised their four daughters. Jim supported his children in all of their endeavors and was always an audience member to their cheerleading/poms competitions, diving to meets, music recitals, etc. He raised them to all be “daddy’s girls” — all very special and unique in their own way. Every decision he made was centered on what was best for the five most important women in his life: Sue, Kelly, Karen, Kasey and Kathryn. As his children grew older, he only became prouder of them and loved to brag about his children and the decisions they made. His family filled his heart and he filled theirs. 

Jim made the retirement leap and moved to Thompson’s Station, where he was able to touch the lives of many more people. He brought joy to all those he met, whether with his jokes and laughter, coining his as “Jovial Jim;” the enjoyable banter about a whole host of topics or his stories of home, giving him the name “Chicago Jim.” Though only here for a short time, he will be greatly missed and have a lasting impact on the lives he touched.

He is lovingly remembered by his wife of 28 years, Susan (Bradbury) Ray; four daughters, Kelly (Mark) D’Ambrosia of Hoffman Estates, Illinois, Karen (Clinton) Poskozim, of Des Plaines, Illinois, Kasey Ray and fiancé Matthew Leddy of Thompson’s Station, and Kathryn Ray, of Raleigh, North Carolina; five grandchildren, Taylor, Ethan and Michael D’Ambrosia and Carter and Grant Poskozim; and by extended family and many friends.

A celebration of Jim’s life will be held on Dec. 15, 2019 from 10 a.m. to noon at Rolling Knolls Pavilion, located at 11N Rohrssen Road in Elgin, Illinois.

Jim was a giving man to his family and to others. In lieu of memorial contributions in his memory, donations may be made to the American Heart Association or your favorite charity in Jim’s honor. 

Condolences to the family at