James Ralph “J.R.” Meredith

Jerseyville | Tuesday, May 3 2022

James Ralph “J.R.” Meredith, 94, died at 1:47 a.m., Tuesday, May 3, 2022, at Jersey Community Hospital in Jerseyville.

He was born on September 19, 1927, in East St. Louis, Illinois, one of three children born to the late William and Camille “Mille” (Brumley) Meredith.

When J.R. was a young child, the family relocated to Shipman, where he was raised on the family farm on Prairie Dell Road. He attended Shipman schools and graduated with the Class of 1945.

Shortly after, he was drafted into the United States Army and then enlisted with the Army Air Force. He attended basic training at Shepherd Air Force Base in Texas as well as additional training in Spokane, Washington. While at Geiger Field in Washington, he worked as a typist, making out menus and gathering supplies for the mess hall. He then obtained his certification as a Mobile Rock Crusher Opt. and was transferred to Salt Lake City, Utah as he awaited his tour of duty in Japan, following World War II.

While in Japan, he served as a Personnel Clerk Typist with the 5th Air Force, 309th Engineering Squad at Johnson Air Force Base. In July of 1947, he was honorably discharged having attained the rank of Corporal. J.R.’s military service remained one of the proudest parts of his life, and he enjoyed sharing his military history with his family and friends.

Upon returning home to the States, he attended St. Louis School of Aeronautics in St. Charles, Missouri, and went on to work as an aircraft mechanic for Slick Airways in San Antonio, Texas. He then returned home in 1949, where he spent time driving a truck and working at a folding box factory, prior to accepting a position with Laclede Steel Company in 1951. His career with Laclede spanned 39 years and he retired in January of 1990 as a Mill Operator.  

He married the former Lois Hillig on March 7, 1959. Throughout their 63 years of marriage, J.R. and Lois set a real-life example of love and commitment for their children and grandchildren and considered their time together nothing short of a blessed life.  

J.R. had a knack for fixing things and working with his hands. He enjoyed working on cars, motorcycles, and boats (even spending some time racing boats as well). He also spent many weekends hunting with his boys. Self-taught, he also enjoyed woodworking during his retirement years.

Surviving are his wife, Lois Meredith of Jerseyville; three sons and two daughters-in-law, John and Sandy Clark of Jerseyville, Steven and Karen Meredith of Jerseyville and Brian Meredith of Jackson, Tennessee; as well as twelve grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Leo, and a sister, Ruby.

Memorial Visitation will take place from 10 a.m. until the time of funeral services at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 7, 2022, at First Baptist Church in Jerseyville.

Private inurnment will take place at Kane Cemetery at a later date.

In lieu of flowers or plants, memorials may be given to Parkinson’s Foundation, in care of Crawford Funeral Home, 1308 State Highway 109, Jerseyville, IL 62052, which has been entrusted with arrangements.

Memories may be shared with the family by visiting

Obit Provided By:
Crawford Funeral Home

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