Lieutenant Colonel James Paul Markwell (Retired, US Army Reserves), 89 of Taylorville, passed away at 1:26p.m. on Friday, March 6, 2020 at Taylorville Care Center.  He was born on August 24, 1930 in Stonington, the son of Ray and Sarah (Coffey) Markwell.  He married Merle Kaegy on May 9, 1956 in Tokyo, Japan.  Jim graduated from the University of Illinois in 1952 with a bachelor’s degree in science and agriculture as well as a 4-year ROTC obligation.  Upon graduation he was assigned to Ft. Polk as a platoon leader and tank commander with the 37th Calvary.  He was then given orders to be stationed in Japan at Camp Fuji where the served the 7th Calvary and 7th Tank Battalion.  Following his time in Japan he was assigned to Ft. Knox before being transferred to Regensburg, Germany.  He then served the 5th Army Advisory Group in Urbana and the 303rd Ordinance Group in Springfield before his retirement as Lieutenant Colonel with the US Army Reserves in 1975.  In 1971, when Jim moved to Taylorville, he began working for Country Companies Insurance before becoming partners in Kinsella, McNeely, Ryan, and Markwell (KMRM).  He retired from the insurance business in 1996.  Jim was an active member in the Taylorville First United Methodist Church where he sang in the choir, taught Sunday School, and was a member of United Methodist Men.  He was also a long-time member of the Taylorville VFW and Optimist Club.  Jim was a very active volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America for 40+ years.  He held numerous roles at both the local and council level and was awarded the Silver Beaver, the highest award for scouters at the council level.  His involvement with scouting had an enormous impact on the lives of countless boys around the area.  In his free time, Jim loved to spend time with his family.  Fishing in the North Woods, especially with his sons and grandsons, was always one of his favorite activities.  


Jim is survived by his wife: Merle Markwell of Taylorville; children: Roni Markwell-McDaniels of Swansea, Fred Markwell (Sandy) of Edwardsville, Steve Markwell (Beth) of Taylorville, and Dan Markwell (Renee) of Springfield; grandchildren: Kelsey Ryan (Patrick), Lindsay McDaniels, Sarah Loving (Steven), Logan Markwell, Grace Markwell, Luke Markwell, and Emma Markwell; great grandchildren: Atlas Ryan and Tahlia Ryan; sister-in-law: Eileen Markwell of St. Petersburg, Florida; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.  He was preceded in death by his parents; grandson: Jonathon Ray Markwell; son-in-law: Henry McDaniels; brothers: Norman Markwell, Gail Markwell, Lynn “Soap” Markwell, and Albert “Rusty” Markwell; and sister: Lois Morphew.  


A visitation for Mr. Markwell will be held on Saturday, March 14, 2020 from 10:00a.m. until noon in the Taylorville First United Methodist Church.  A memorial service will be held at noon in the church with Pastor Becky Lembke officiating.  Memorials in Jim’s honor may be left to the Taylorville First United Methodist Church or the Abraham Lincoln Council of the Boy Scouts of America.  McClure Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Taylorville is assisting the Markwell family with arrangements.  Memories of Jim, or condolences to his family, may be shared online at

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