Decatur, Illinois

Decatur, Illinois
Curve-In, Fairview Avenue

Monday, June 28, 2010

Jim Gillen

Jim Gillen was on the track team as a freshman, the wrestling team and the class council as a sophomore. He was involved in vocational graphic arts as a junior and senior.

Jim was one of those guys that grew up in my same neighborhood, in the ten block area north of MacArthur High School, a relatively new subdivision in the 1960s. I lived on Hunt Street and he lived on Garfield Street. All the girls liked Jim, including my little sister. We saw each other all the time, and we all went to the same schools - Garfield, Roosevelt, and MacArthur. But then years and decades do separate people. For example, I was startled to discover that Jim eventually found his calling in a lifelong service career that also mirrored what my father had done for two decades before retiring. It really is a very small world.

Jim shares his life and its highlights with his classmates through the following:

"I was born and raised in Decatur, Illinois, the youngest of four siblings, which were three boys and one girl. I was educated by the Decatur Public school system and Richland community college. I married Sue, the girl I dated through high school. We have been married for 44 years and have three grown sons, two grandsons (who are 5 years old) and a granddaughter (aged 15).

"Straight out of high school, I started my employment as printer for Rand McNally Co. Then I changed jobs in 1970, moving to the Decatur Fire Department. During my time there, working for 34 years, I was promoted through the ranks and served as Battalion Chief for the last ten years of my career.

"I retired in 2003 after having a heart attack.

"For the last three years, I have lived on Pana Lake in Pana, Illinois with my wife Sue. I enjoy fishing, family, spending time with my grandchildren and trying to keep this country from being destroyed from within by our present government. My wife says I'm very strong headed."

"My first car was a 1953 Chevy. I paid for it myself. It was green. Sometimes we had to push it to get it started."


So what have you been up to in the last, well, 45 years?

Add your Mac '65 brief biography to the virtual and real reunion project and see your polished and edited notes published at this blog. To contact Loren Coleman or others on the Mac '65 reunion committee, please use this safe contact form here.

Thank you.

Reunion is set for June 24-25, 2011 !, in Decatur, Illinois, naturally.

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