James Hugo Gallivan


July 20, 1924 - August 29, 2014

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James Hugo Gallivan was born on July 20, 1924, in Urbana. He passed away peacefully on Friday (Aug. 29, 2014). He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Ann; his children, Rebecca Bredehoft (Ron), Lyle Gallivan (Mary), Tom Gallivan (Ping), Hugh Gallivan (Janet) and Nancy Cleveland (Chris); seven grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Mary Julia Gallivan and Marjorie Harwood.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Kathleen and Lyle; his daughter, Kathleen Crawmer; and a grandchild, Holly.

Jim had five main interests in his very active 90 years. These were faith, family, community and business, sports and the arts. He was truly a member of the “greatest generation”. His schooling was interrupted by World War II. He had only a few semesters to finish in civil engineering at the University of Illinois when he was shipped by way of California to Italy. He fought as a private in the U.S. Army and as a machine gunner. As he said, “They ran out of first lieutenants”, so he was sent to Fontainbleau and returned as a lieutenant, then went to Austria as an assistant religious affairs officer for the city of Vienna. By then, the war was over. The three powers controlled Vienna. Finally, Jim was sent home, and he returned to finish at the University of Illinois. He finished his education at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania with a Master of Business Administration.

His first job after graduation was with Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. in its management training program. He next returned to Champaign to work at Alpha Material & Fuel Co. where he spent 27 years in the ready-mix concrete business. He was also in the road, bridge, sand and gravel businesses and remained active as a board member. During this time, he served on several building committees for St. Matthew, Our Lady of the Lake and Holy Cross churches. He spearheaded the Healey Street Detention Basin. He was also active in raising money for United Way and starting the local Marine Bank. He contributed to Family Services, the soup kitchen and St. Vincent de Paul. He supported and contributed to the start of the Atkins Tennis Center at the University of Illinois and closely followed Illini tennis. He made pottery for more than 20 years and started the local pottery shop, Boneyard Pottery. And he chaired a committee to raise funds to conserve a first edition of Audubon prints at the University of Illinois Rare Books Library.

Jim played golf all of his life and loved the Illini, the Cubs and all sports.

Most of all, he was happiest with his family around.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2, at Owens Funeral Home, 101 N. Elm St, Champaign. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 3, at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 403 W. Clark, Champaign. Burial will be private.