James B. "Jim" Burford (89) of Teutopolis


Published on October 16 2017 6:27 pm

James B. “Jim” Burford, 89 of Teutopolis, passed away Monday, October 16, 2017, peaceful at home surrounded by his family.

A funeral mass will be held at 10:30 am Friday, October 20 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Teutopolis with burial in St. Francis Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Thursday evening at the church, with a 6:30 p.m. Knights of Columbus rosary and Fourth Degree services followed by a parish prayer service. Memorial donations may be made to Hedwig House in Charleston, the Newman Center at EIU, St. Michael’s School or Sacred Heart School.

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Jim was born August 2, 1928 in Teutopolis, the oldest child of Clarence “Jimmy” and Lorraine (Weber) Burford. He graduated from Teutopolis High School in 1946 were he played basketball, baseball and tennis. Jim continued to play basketball for one year at Millken University in Decatur.  Jim then married Gertrude Willenborg on Nov. 14, 1953 at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Effingham and she preceded him in death.

Jim was a devoted father of 5 children and a member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic church in Teutopolis. He devoted his life to his family, his work, his town and the Knights of Columbus. Jim had a strong work ethic and believed in giving back to others through volunteering his time and talent to people and causes in need. He worked his entire life at Weber Bros as an electrician and estimator.

Jim was very civic minded and involved in local and state politics. He served on the Teutopolis Town Board for 16 years and was a precinct committeeman and election judge. Jim was the Grand Knight, District Deputy, Financial Secretary, and held numerous state offices for the Knights of Columbus. He was Faithful Navigator of the Fourth Degree in which he was a charter member. He was an integral part in starting several K of C programs such as the Father and Son breakfast and the Tootsie Roll Drive. Jim enjoyed visiting people, especially the elderly and homebound. The last several years he did this with his good friend, Lawrence Carie. Jim never met a stranger and always had a story to tell which made you feel welcomed. He loved his town and was always proud to let others know he grew up in Teutopolis and lived on Brickbat Alley.

Jim is survived by his 4 children, Marialice (Gerson) Castillo of Luanda, Angola, John of Teutopolis, Jeanna (Greg) Hook of Effingham and Sarah (Jeff) Hoene of Teutopolis; nine grandchildren, MaryAnn Eperiam and Emerald (Josephine) Eperiam of Kolonia, Pohnpei, Emirano Eperiam of Chicago, Marenson Eperiam of Kansas City, KS, Taylor (Lauren) Hook of Charleston, SC., Faith Hook of Chicago, Blake Hoene of Teutopolis; step-grandchildren, Jesenia and Gerson Castillo of Peru; great-grandchildren Elijah, Zeki, Zoe and Zumi Eperiam of Kolonia, Pohnpei; sisters, Mary (Bob) Bender of Westchester, Dorothy (Gayle) Bartell of St. Joseph, and brother, Carl Burford of Olympia, Washington.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; infant son, Philip; son-in-law, Emensio Eperiam; brothers, Lawrence, Tom and Bernard Burford; brothers-in-law, Sylvester and Clem Willenborg; sisters-in-law, Dianna Burford, Hilda (Ed) Doedtman, Marcella and Madeline Willenborg; father and mother-in-law, Clem and Mary Willenborg.