James Edward Tobin, 84, longtime resident of Farmer City, passed away 1:05 a.m. Tuesday (Oct. 31, 2017) in Sullivan. While he was a reluctant transplant to Mahomet for his last couple of years, he most recently briefly resided at Eastview Terrace, Sullivan, until the time of his passing.
Visitation will be 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Calvert-Belangee-Bruce Funeral Home, Farmer City. His funeral will be 10 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home with Deacon Scott Whitehouse officiating. Burial will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery, LeRoy, with military rites accorded. Memorials may be made to VFW Fred G. O’Malley Post 6190 Farmer City Honor Guard.
He was born July 10, 1933, in Bloomington, son of James Edward and Neoma Besser Tobin. He married Eunice Louise Scott on Jan. 28, 1956. She survives, currently of Mahomet.
Other survivors include three children, Janet E. Caldwell, Bloomington; Donna L. (Allen) Arrowsmith, LeRoy; and Paul T. (Peggy) Tobin, Farmer City; six grandchildren, Jennie (Paul) Calhoon, Erin (Kyle) Winters, Rebecca (David) Matakas, Ryan Sessions, Jim (Mershon) Tobin and Katelyn Tobin; four great-grandchildren and two stepgreat-grandchildren, Jessica and Quinton Calhoon, Samantha and Camille Matakas, and Kaylin and Jace Winters.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Thomas Tobin; his grandson, Jonathan Sessions; and his son-in-law, Gary Caldwell.
Jim began working at the Farmer City Journal in 1947 at age 14. Upon graduating from Moore Township High School, he attended University of Illinois before serving in the Army. He loved the printing business and returned from his military duty in Turkey to continue his work at the Journal. In 1961, he accepted a position reporting for The Daily Pantagraph. In 1963, he was hired at the Farmer City State Bank and no longer had to commute from his beloved Farmer City. He worked at the bank until his retirement and was able to be an active community leader through the Jaycees and the Chamber of Commerce. Jim was a great writer and combined that skill with his love of the stock car races he announced to write a Journal feature each week called “The Finish Line.”
In his retirement, he spent time with his grandchildren and will be remembered by his neighbors for creating fun decorations that graced the front porch for all seasons. He also began a newsletter for the Genealogical Society called “The Mirror,” as well as editing a book compiled by local World War II veterans, and writing an autobiography for his family that traced the history of Farmer City throughout his lifetime.