James Henry Prichard Jr., 80, of Springfield, Illinois passed away at home on January 10, 2023. Jim was born December 2, 1942, also in Springfield, Illinois.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Darla Jean Prichard; brother, Dale Prichard; father, James Prichard Sr.; mother Elsie (Zglicenski) Scifers; and his son, David Arnold.
He is survived and greatly missed by his wife, Judith Prichard; daughter, Dena Rodd (Geoff); son, James Prichard III (Becky); Grandchildren, Natalie (Rodd) Davis (Michael), Jason Rodd, Nathan Rodd (Tesmri), David Arnold (Jessica), Nick Arnold (Bekah), Amber Arnold, James Prichard IV and Jackson Prichard; Great grandchildren, Alivia Davis, Isla Davis, Talan Davis, Kaylee Arnold and Finley Arnold; and several loved nieces and nephews.
Jim served in the United States Army as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. He enjoyed telling stories of his experiences there, including when he was disciplined and was instructed to salute a donkey. After his time in the Army he worked various jobs and retired from the Painter’s Local Union as a drywaller and the State of Illinois as a highway maintainer.
Jim was well-known as a kind, gentle and generous man. Even still, he was a straight talker who would tell you exactly what he thought. He met his wife of 56 years on New Years Eve in 1967. From that date on they saw each other almost every day. Just five months later they would be married. When the engagement was made he took his future 4-year old daughter, Dena, and 5-year old son, David, aside to happily tell them that he was going to be their daddy. He raised them as a devoted provider. As he neared 40 years old he welcomed another son that would be given his name. His age did not hold him back. He spent countless hours playing catch, wrestling, riding bikes, exploring self-made trails and other adventures. After working a long, hard day, he would come home to a young boy asking to play – he never once said no.
Jim enjoyed tinkering. He loved to build things, “fix” things and take things apart. Occasionally he would reassemble. He was a self-described jack-of-all-trades, master of none. In his final years he welcomed two grandsons, James (Jay) and Jackson (Jax) that would provide “Papa-P” a tremendous amount of joy and energy, and lead to some epic wrestling matches. Shortly before his death many family and friends gathered to celebrate his 80th birthday, he was very grateful.
He died instantly from a cardiac event just moments after reading and studying from his favorite book -- the Bible -- something he did regularly throughout his life and shared frequently and passionately with others. At his desk he left us a notebook where he had just finished writing out the following verses:
“For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass, the grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: Word of God shall stand forever.”
(parts of 1 Peter 1:24 and Isaiah 40: 6-8)
Ellinger-Kunz and Park Funeral Home, 530 North 5th St. Springfield, IL 62702 is in charge of arrangements. Visitation will be held at the funeral home Friday, January 20, 2023 from 10:00-11:00AM with a service to follow. Jim will be laid to rest at Roselawn Memorial Park following the services at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Grace Baptist Church, a church family he cared for, and cared for him, dearly.