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James Lee Marx, 81, died peacefully in his sleep at his home the morning of November 14, 2023, after a lengthy illness.
Jim was born December 19, 1941 (shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor) at St. Mary’s Hospital, Kansas City, MO. Jim is number 7 of 11 children.
Jim went to St. Joseph Catholic School, Shawnee, KS 12 years with graduation in 1959. He served as an Altar Boy in St. Joseph Catholic Church and was a member of the Knights of Columbus. He played football, basketball and baseball in school and later. As a young man during his school years, he worked in the truck gardens of Shawnee and drove produce to Kansas City, KS to sell in the “bottoms.” He attended Donnelly Catholic College, Kansas City, KS for two years and coached the girls’ softball team.
Jim and his wife Kay were married in St. Joseph Catholic Church on October 7, 1967. Jim enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1962 and served as a Medic and Military Police through the end of 1968 with an honorable discharge. He received his medical training at Fort Sam Houston, TX. He served as Military Police during the 1968 Kansas City, MO Riots.
Jim went to work with the Grain Door Department of Western Weighing and Inspection Bureau located in Union Station, Kansas City, MO. This is where he met his future wife, Kay. The Bureau inspected rail shipments and were the mediators between the shippers and the carriers. The Bureau was a member of The Western Railway System, which was a subsidiary of the American Railroad System. Jim started outdoors in construction physically preparing railway cars for shipments of grain. He was soon promoted to clerk; rapidly rose through the ranks, was promoted to Manager and transferred to the main headquarters in Chicago, IL. He traveled most of the United States, Canada and Mexico. Jim retired after 27 years with the Bureau. During the 27 years in the Chicago area, he played Junior JayCees Volleyball in Lombard, IL. He also volunteered with the Lombard YMCA, as well as five other YMCA’s in the Chicago area. He also was a proud father in the YMCA Indian Princess and Indian Guide programs. Both of Jim’s children, Rebeccah and Jimmy, were born in the Greater Chicago Area.
After retiring from the Bureau, he and his brothers Jerry and Dickie opened the Hickory Stick BBQ in Overland Park, KS. Later he and friend Mike Campo opened the Casablanca Restaurant in Addison, IL. He loved to cook. In his next venture, Jim became a Travel Agent with Gala Travel of Oakbook, IL booking trips to Las Vegas. He loved Las Vegas!
In 1998, he and Kay moved to Hanford, CA. During his time in Hanford, Jim received Volunteer of the Year award by the YMCA of Kings County. He was counselor for the Youth and Government Program and traveled with the youth to Sacramento. He volunteered at The YMCA of Kings County Camp Redwood located in the Sequoia National Forest. Jim spent countless number of hours helping maintain the YMCA facilities in Hanford and Camp Redwood. During this period, he was a proud member and President of the Y’s Men’s Club. Jim volunteered for Veterans, the American Legion, and the Hanford Soup Kitchen. His final retirement job was working as weighmaster for Danell Brothers.
Jim also served two years as a member of Kings County Grand Jury: 2016-2017 and 2017-2018. He was proud of his service to Kings County.
He loved to hunt, fish, play cards, watch western and war movies, put up hay (not), play golf… and he loved his beer. He spent countless hours fishing with his friend, Rick, especially at Stockton Lake in MO which is where Jim wants his ashes scattered. When fishing at Kay’s dad’s lake, he was usually surrounded by numerous nieces and nephews. Jim was the ‘pied piper’ of fishing for the little ones.
During football season, one of his favorite activities was seeing whose favorite team won—His (The Kansas City Chiefs, of course) or his children’s or grandchildren’s. ‘Friendly’ wagers were placed.
Jim is survived by his wife, Kay, of 56 years; his daughter Rebeccah (Rob) Nelson of Hampshire, IL; his son James C. Marx (Jean) of Missoula, MT; three grandsons Dylan and Tyler Nelson and Alex Marx; also two granddaughters Hailey and Erica Marx; as well as sisters Judy Morris (Camdenton, MO); Sandy Wooldridge (Forney, TX); Connie Marx (Forney, TX); Dolores Collett (Keith)(Leesburg, FL); brother Gerald Marx(Terry); sister-in-law Donna Marx (Shawnee, KS); with scores of nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents Joseph J. Marx and Edna B. (Gangel) Marx of Sunrise Beach, MO; three brothers Joseph C. Marx, Saline, MI; John Marx, Raleigh, NC; Richard (Dickie) Marx, Shawnee, KS; also, two of his sisters Edna W. Marx of Shawnee, KS and Rose Marie Murray of Sun Lakes, AZ.
Jim was definitely a family man. His family meant the world to him. He was surrounded by a wonderful family and wonderful friends. He will be dearly missed. Donations may be made to The Alzheimer Foundation at alzfdn.org or Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at JDRF, P.O. Box 378920 Boone IA.50037-0920