Jim Draper

Jim Draper

FITHIAN – Jimmie Lee Draper, 72, of Fithian passed away at 11:46 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 29, 2012) at the Vermilion County Nursing Home after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease.

Born May 1, 1940, in Muncie, Jim was the eighth of 10 children born to William and Edith (Goble) Draper.

Jim is survived by his wife, Dorothy (Ferling) Draper, whom he married on Dec. 29, 1961. Jim and Dorothy have three daughters, Cathy (Steve) Thatcher of Mahomet, Sharyl (Lenny) Light of Surprise, Ariz., and Shelia (Darrin) Fletcher of Oakwood. Jim and Dorothy also have seven grandchildren, Kale (Erica) Wallace, Joel Wallace, Sydney Bailey, Emily Bailey, Casey Fletcher, Preslie Fletcher and Koby Fletcher.

Also surviving are his four sisters, Jane Hibbs of California, Mildred (Bob) Anderson of Champaign, Dora (Larry) Moreman of Tilton and Shirley Cummings of California; and two brothers, Jerry (JoAnn) Draper of Westville and Larry (Sandy) Draper of Oakwood.

Jim has joined his parents; brothers Richard "Dick" Draper and William "Bill" Draper and sister Ruth Draper Mann.

At a young age, Jim started working beside his father in the automotive repair business. He went on to start his own business, Mr. Auto Body Inc. of Champaign, which he and his wife owned for the past 42 years.

Jim loved his work and he enjoyed the many friendships he made through his business. On a daily basis he looked forward to taking his customers out for coffee. Jim also enjoyed many hobbies, which included team roping with his beloved horse Leon, attending NASCAR races, and watching old Westerns on television and Major League Baseball games.

Jim also had many fond memories of participating in drag races with his car, "Thumper Three."

Jim especially cherished the time he spent with his family. He was known for his quick stops just to check in on everybody. Jim was a very generous and loving husband and father. He will be deeply missed by his family.

Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 4, at Kirby Funeral Home in Homer. Jim's final resting place will be at Stearn's Cemetery in Fithian. Pastor Kim Dancey will officiate. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

Memorials may be made to the Fithian United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 35, Fithian, IL 61844.