Cover photo for James  Joseph Wleklinski Sr's Obituary
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James Joseph Wleklinski Sr

November 15, 1941 — April 21, 2024

James Joseph Wleklinski Sr

James “Jim” Joseph Wleklinski Sr., 82, was a loving son, brother, husband, cousin, father, godfather and grampy. He passed away on the morning of April 21, 2024.

Jim was born on Nov. 15, 1941, to the late Joseph and Caroline (Kwasniewski) Wleklinski in Chicago. He is preceded in death by wife Ruth Ann Thomas Wleklinski, brother Gary Arthur Wleklinski Sr. (Marian Kasperski) and sister Elizabeth Wleklinski.

Jim is survived by son James “Jim” Wleklinski Jr. (Cristy Boyer); son Steven Wleklinski (Nadia Chanthaboury); daughter Laurie

O’Halleran (Mike O’Halleran); son Paul Wleklinski; grandsons Trent DeSanctis, Gavin Jessogne, Drew Wleklinski, Colin O’Halleran and Owen O’Halleran; granddaughters Emily Wleklinski, Kate Wleklinski and Madeline Wleklinski; and several nephews and nieces.

Jim went to elementary school at St. Mary of the Angels and graduated from Gordon Technical High School in Chicago in 1959. He enlisted with the U.S. Air Force and served four years. He had several jobs before working for the U.S. Postal Service for 26 years. While working as a letter carrier in Carpentersville, IL, he worked for the Forest Preserve District of Kane County, where he enjoyed the peace and quiet of nature.

Jim and Ruth married on April 19, 1969. They met at a downhill ski club meeting. Ruth would wear a babushka

and a scarf, and Jim’s last name was anything but simple – so, naturally, they razzed each other about both. They had four kids with whom they did almost everything. They loved to travel, camp, cross-country ski, boat, hike, spend time

with family, watch their kids play sports and watch all the Chicago sports teams. Sunday mornings were spent attending church, eating family breakfasts cooked by Jim and cheering on the Bears afterward. The volume on the TV would get turned down and WGN radio would get turned up.

Jim never participated in the countless family card/board games because he wanted no part of the arguments, fights and/or board/card tossing that inevitably ensued every time. “How is that even fun,” he’d ask from behind his newspaper or magazine.

Jim had family members who lived on farms in South Dakota. He loved to visit and help on the farms. He always wanted to move there and be a farmer. He grew a large garden in the backyard of our Elgin, IL home. Us kids were convinced he and mom only started it to put us to work – OK, and to help lower our large grocery bills. The garden became their quiet place where they had their adult conversations without us kids eavesdropping.

Jim loved cars. His favorite car he owned was his burgundy 1965 Mustang Fastback. He loved working on cars, watching NASCAR, visiting Daytona International Speedway and even loved riding the Disney Test Track ride at Epcot. He also loved to fish and hunt. He taught his younger cousins to fish and, of course, us kids. The boys would get up early and go out on the boat while the girls would sleep in and then head down to the dock where they would usually end up catching more than the boys (It’s been said it was probably the same fish). Ruth would read her books while Jim would cast and troll, and, of course, her method yielded more fish ... more razzing ensued. He loved cleaning, gutting and cooking the fish they caught.

After retiring from the Post Office in 1997, Jim and Ruth moved to Hot Springs Village, AR. He considered himself an Arkansan. He loved living where people vacation. They cherished the time we and our kids spent visiting and vacationing in the village. Those visits included digging for diamonds, boating, fishing, waterskiing, trips to the local water park, spending time at the beach and watching fireworks, visiting museums and other tourist spots, wine tasting at Petit Jean State Park, going to the horse racing track, getting spring water from Hot Springs, and strolling the shops and bath houses in Hot Springs.

Jim was the rock and the moral compass of our family. He was the oldest of his siblings, so he helped look after them. When he became a father, it was second nature to be nurturing and compassionate. He helped with all the little things. He tucked us kids into bed at night, hugged and kissed us every night, and never let an opportunity to say “I love you” slip away. He taught us to work hard in whatever we did. He loved his grandkids and was so proud of them. He worked hard but played harder. He already is greatly missed by us and everyone who was blessed enough to know him.

Arrangements were made and directed by CedarVale Funeral Home inside the Hot Springs Village.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Joseph Wleklinski Sr, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Starts at 8:00 am (Eastern time)

Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church

295 Balearic Road, Hot Springs Village, AR 71909

rosery is at 0830 am

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