James “Jim” Ricke, age 81, of Elburn, passed away Thursday, November 12, 2020, leaving a legacy of love and memories to cherish.

He was born July 25, 1939, in Chicago, IL, to proud parents, Cyril and Helen (Glancy) Ricke.

Jim grew up in Chicago and attended local schools. The family moved to Elmhurst during his teenage years and before he answered the call of his country and enlisted into the United States Navy.

While serving, Jim finished his high school degree while proudly defending his country. Upon his honorable discharge, Jim returned to civilian life in Elmhurst before finding his home in St. Charles.

Fate smiled upon Jim when he met Carol Sidlo through friends. After a time, he found that he had given his heart to Carol, as well as his hand in marriage. They walked hand in hand down the aisle in August of 1994. They began their new life together by building a home in Elburn where they made memories to last generations. 

Jim wore many different hats over the years, but eventually concentrated on machining. His creativity, tenacious nature and strong work ethic made him the ultimate entrepreneur. Jim worked for his father’s business in the early 1970’s, eventually purchasing it in 1978. Jim then grew Inland Fasteners through ingenuity, inspiration and perspiration. 

Jim was a member of Safari Club International and travelled the world in search of the next big game, no matter how remote the destination.

Jim was a loving, caring and generous man who lived for his family above all else. He was generous to a fault and the first to lend a hand or a sympathetic ear. His hobbies included bow hunting every fall for deer, though his favorite destination was Africa. Jim also enjoyed deep sea fishing in Panama, Costa Rica and the Florida Keys among others. Boating also was high on his list and cherished each excursion with vigor. When he was back on land, Jim loved to “get into the wind” on his Harley Davidson, making memories with every mile. His creative spirit was not wasted on his work for he loved to tinker, build and imagine countless projects at home. Jim’s home away from home was in Cape Coral, FL, where he and Carol lived six months out of the year. No one word could encapsulate Jim, just as a single picture could not define his presence, but he lives on through a million memories that will never be diminished.   

He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Carol Ricke; his children: Bert (Brenda) Lowden, Monte Lowden, Jimmy Ricke, Tiffany Ricke, Michael (Dan) Gardner, Tim Gardner, Tracy (Mike) Scariano; his grandchildren: Kristin, Kallen, Kara, Hannah, Jenna and Autumn; seven great-grandchildren; eight siblings: Lynn, Dennis, Tim, Jay, Kevin, Patti, Denise and Devin; many nieces and nephews; a family of friends and his four legged best friend, Max, a Jack Russell Terrier who will miss him dearly.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Cyril and Helen Ricke, his first wife, and one sister Dawn.

Private family services will be Friday, November 20, 2020 at 12 p.m., and shared on Facebook Live.

To share in the live service, you can log into Facebook and continue to the Conley Funeral Home page, or copy and paste the link below into your browser if you do not have a Facebook account. The broadcast will begin about 5-10 minutes before the service and will be available afterwards to be viewed at your convenience.


In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his name to the charity of your choice. Tributes and memories may be shared on the Conley Funeral Home Facebook Page, or at www.conleycare.com.

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