Meet Jim

See how he’s helped others.

Never one to let cerebral palsy stop him from achieving whatever he set his mind to, Jim graduated from college with a double major in theatre and sociology, enjoyed a 42-year government career in public housing and today stays actively involved with community service through the Knights of Columbus.

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  • Jim’s parents, Joe and Holly, considered their first born a miracle baby. Both parents became activists to support children with cerebral palsy. In the 1940s, they helped organize and develop Shady Oaks, a summer camp in Homer Glen, Ill for kids with disabilities.

  • Jim’s mother, Holly, was originally from Vancouver but moved to New York City and danced with the Rockettes. Joe, the oldest of 10 children, ran away from his Brooklyn home three times to join the circus and later worked as a comedian.

  • Jim remembers learning to walk as a young boy with the assistance of parallel bars his mother and father had installed in their Chicago one-bedroom apartment in the Hazel-Wilson Residential Hotel.

  • Jim with his younger brother, Brian, enjoying a visit to Brooklyn to visit their grandparents.

  • At the corner of Hazel and Wilson, Jim takes a ride in his Uptown neighborhood in the 1940s. The Hazel-Wilson, seen in the background, was a residential apartment building in Chicago for performers, artists, musicians and dancers.

  • Channel 9 in Chicago hosted Bob Hope’s telethon for the Cerebral Palsy Fund. Jim sits on Hope’s lap, with his dad, Joe, to his left. Joe toured with Hope on his USO tours during World War II.

  • Jim and his friend and neighbor, Mary Mahoney, take in the sights at Busch Gardens in Florida. During most of his professional career, Jim lived in Chicago in a high-rise along Lake Shore Drive and enjoyed music and theatre in the city. He still is a regular theatre-goer.

  • Jim, far right, enjoyed a 42-year government career working for the housing and development office in the finance department.

  • The late Roger Kaffer, a lifelong friend of Jim’s, invited him to his ordination as the American Auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Joliet. Kaffer offered Jim his first job out of a college as a public relations director at a monastery in Lockport, Ill.

  • Jim visits his friend from college, Dr. William Kimes, then-chairman of the theatre department at Hamline University in St Paul, Minnesota. Now retired, Bill was the theatre director at Lakeland College. Jim spent many summers visiting St Paul and acting in local theatre productions, including Our Town and The Matchmaker.

  • One of Jim's favorite mementos for this 70th birthday.

  • Jim stays actively involved in community service through the Knights of Columbus, and has achieved Fourth Degree status. Here he is pictured with Most Reverend Alberto Rojas, the Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Chicago, and other Fourth Degree Knights.

  • Jim loves to put on a coat and tie as shown in this recent photo at a Mardi Gras event hosted by the Knights of Columbus in Wadsworth, Ill.

  • Jim at home with Bonnie, his beloved Scottish Fold cat.

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1 Comment

  • Reply carla pittman April 16, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Beautiful photos of a wonderful man. Thank you for sharing. Carla

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