James J. “Mr D” Dennis, 89 of Taylorville, passed away at 6:50am on Friday, Nov 20, 2020 at Taylorville Memorial Hospital in Taylorville.  He was born on Nov 6, 1931 in Bloomington, the son of Harry and Mary (Wall) Dennis.  James graduated from Trinity High School in 1950. He served in the Army National Guard and was on active duty during the Korean Conflict.

On April 24, 1954 married his High School Sweet Heart Joan Walsh at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Bloomington IL and she preceded him in death on Nov 15th 1988.  

He graduated from Illinois State Normal University in 1956 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Education.  Jim worked for the JCPenney Co for 34 years and as Manager of the Taylorville Store for 25 years. He was a member of St Mary’s Catholic Church, serving on the Finance Committee and assisting with the Annual Festival for many years.   He was a member of the Kiwanis Club, Knights of Columbus and Retired JCPenney Employee’s Club.

Proud of his Irish Heritage, on St Patrick’s Day, he dyed his hair green and served green donuts to customers, staff and friends and convinced the City Council to paint a green stripe around the Taylorville Square.

After retiring he loved to travel the US, Canada, Ireland, Italy and Greece. He was an active member of the Christmas Home Tour, and served on the Oak Hill Cemetery Committee for many years. He also worked at McClure Funeral Home.

He impacted and influenced the lives of all that he knew.  He will be forever remembered for his wit, humor, stories, and love of life.
He is survived by his children:

Daughters, Mary (Kevin) Simcox of West Des Moines IA, Erin Dennis (Mike Zagotta) of Taylorville, Theresa Dennis of Peoria IL. Sons, Steven (Shelly) Dennis of Taylorville, Mike Dennis of Swanton MD, Thom (Jeffrey Hadloc) Dennis of Galena IL, Dan (Cindy) Dennis, of Taylorville, David Dennis of Bloomington IL, Bob (Barbi) Dennis of Bloomington IL. Grandchildren, Kaitlyn Simcox, Sarah Zagotta, Ann Zagotta, Danielle Dennis, Meghan Dennis, Patrick Dennis, Sean Dennis. Siblings, William Dennis, Wilmington IL, Paulita Killian, Lexington IL, Tim Dennis, Lake Forest IL., and many nieces and nephews.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Wife Joan, Brothers, John Dennis, Tom (Cathy) Dennis, Sisters, Mary Helen Goetsch, Christine Beebe.

A private family funeral mass will be held at 1pm on Wed, Nov 25th, 2020 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Following the mass Jim will be cremated and inurnment will be held in Oak Hill Cemetery in Taylorville, IL at a later date. McClure Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Taylorville is assisting the family with arrangements.  A Celebration of Life will be held at a date to be determined. To view the live broadcast of the funeral mass, please visit: Memories of Jim, or condolences to his family, may be shared online at  


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