James "Jim" McClain
James “Jim” McClain, 96, of Springfield died at 3:02 pm, Saturday, December 28, 2019 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur, IL. He was born on October 31, 1923 in Macoupin County, IL to James R. Sr. and Helen (Hewitt) McClain. He and his second wife, Kay (Sorrells) were married in 1978 and she preceded him in death on May 9, 2010.
Jim was also preceded in death by his daughter, Marianne McClain in 1966 and his sister, June Dewey in 2009.
He is survived by two sons, Michael (Kaye Lynn Spreeman) McClain of Bloomington, IL and Martin McClain of Ft. Lauderdale, FL; a step-daughter Ann Michelle (Mark Wilson) McCullough of Murfreesboro, TN; three grandchildren, Michelle A. (Jason) Haab, Christa M. (Doug) McClain-Smith and Faith A. (Patrick) Hewlett; six great-grandchildren, Jaden and Grayson Haab, Michaela and Madison McClain-Smith and Kira and Phoenix Hewlett.
Jim loved dancing and danced all over the country. Even in his 90’s he was dancing weekly. His favorite song to dance to was “Any Time”, closely followed by “Hello, Dolly”. He once met Sammy Kaye when he was dancing in Atlantic City.
Jim honorably served his country in the U.S. Coast Guard during WWII. During this time, Jim served on several ships providing escort duty to the Mediterranean. In 1945 he met his first wife, Marion Wright, while stationed at Cape Cod. When WWII ended, he happened to be in New York City on 42nd Street at the parade and a lady named Mrs. Pendergass approached him and asked if he would like to meet Mayor LaGuardia. He agreed and was taken to the parade reviewing stand to shake hands with the mayor, The Secretary of the US Navy, and Chiang Kai-Shek (leader of the Republic of China). He was invited to spend the evening with them.
He also became friends of Gene Upshaw of the Oakland Raiders and Tommy Henrick of the New York Yankees who introduced him to Yogi Berra and Joe Dimaggio.
In 1954, Jim and first wife Marion opened Tiny Tot Nursery School. It was a successful business that they proudly owned and operated until 1982. Jim loved bowling and pitching horseshoes.
Visitation: 10:30 – 11:30 am, Monday, January 6, 2020 at Staab Funeral Home-Springfield.
Funeral Service: 11:30 am, Monday, January 6, 2020 at Staab Funeral Home-Springfield.
Burial will follow at Oak Ridge Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.
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