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.

12 thoughts on “JAMES “Jim” RICKE

  1. We will truly miss Jim & the shared hunting & cycling stories we both had.
    To the Ricke Family , please accept our sincerest sympathy.

    Dave & Anne Zellmer

  2. I’ve known Jim since I was 10 years old when I became friends with Kristen. He was always so sweet & kind throughout the nearly 20 years.. I feel really blessed to have met someone that showed so much love to his grandchildren ,kids, wife & family.
    Sending so much love & prayers

  3. Our most profound condolences on your loss. It has been our sincere pleasure to call Jim a friend. We enjoyed his company and always looked forward to spending time with him. He will be sorely missed.

  4. Steve Urhausen and the All American Systems team offer our deepest condolences to Carol, Tim and Tracy as well as the rest of the family! Jim was a great guy and I will forever be grateful to him for believing in me all those years ago allowing me to represent his company and to get to know him and all the outstanding people at Addison Packaging and Inland Fasteners. He will truly me missed, but we carry on his work and his legacy while holding onto his memory.

  5. He was my big brother. The fun, the adventures, and the sheer joy of being his brother was a blessing. From sneaking into Wrigley Field in the early morning to traveling to the Ovaltine factory and being amazed at the size and the reality that it did exist. The small businesses we had as kids. Shining shoes at bars in Elmhurst, and Jim helping me build my own shoe shining kit so I could join him.

    Above all, I recall his sense of humor. In all my years, no one, made me laugh as Jim did. He could have done stand up. His sense of business and how to communicate with his customers was so polished. I recall Jim taking over when dad retired. He had to call each client and tell, “I’m now the owner, my dad’s retired.” He was surprised by how delighted the customers were. Dad, shall we say, was not the people person, Jim was. Jim was also a Frogman in the Navy. Today we call them “Navy Seals.”

    1. Jim Ricke came into our lives, as “Dad”, at a very early age when he married our mother, Shirley, upon his return from serving in the U.S. Navy. Thus, began a life filled with adventures — each one a number one of its kind. These adventures were family week-ends spent in McHenry County; road trips to the Four Corners out West; yearly camping trips to Devil’s Lake as well as just plain fun!
      As a young adult, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to further develop and enjoy Dad’s camaraderie during bow hunting and golfing trips.
      All in all, the most important thing that Dad taught me is an “AWESOME WORK ETHIC.” I will always remember when he told me, “There’s 24 hours in a day — you can work them all!” Last November, when the company I lease my tractor to commented that they were amazed at my awesome work ethic, I responded, “I have to thank my stepfather for kicking me in the ass for 20 years. But it worked!”
      Thank you, Dad! Thank you for all the great memories as well as life’s lessons. I’ll miss you!

  6. Mr. Ricke sounds like an extremely adventurous and exceptional man. I know many hearts are immensely saddened and that he will be missed tremendously. My prayers go out to his wife, his children, family and friends and I pray that God will comfort all of your hearts and help you to find strength moving forward. Please know we are thinking of you all during this difficult time.

  7. He had an special ability to work hard, live life to the fullest and do it in a sober-like manner. He was one rare individual and one of which i am very proud to have shared some of our lives journey’s with.

    From the Pinewood Derby, to camping as kids, to his back yard swimming bashes / cookouts, to baseball and football games. Deep sea fishing in the keys as well as the gulf. Cruises, boating……. Golfing in FL and IL and at our club.

    He was the original Santa (or close to). Presents stacked up as high as the tree and even dating back to when life savings might have been just south of a 10 dollar bill. Truly loved seeing the joy and happiness in children’s eyes.

    Taking my girls on vacations, shopping sprees and more. Aside from being a great Dad, he was also a great grandfather (to our kids, as well as Tiffany’s and Tracy’s ……..and kind of a linchpin to our family; a council to me and much more.

    I was fortunate to have had him in my life. Forever in our hearts. We are still with you. Always.

    Bert, Brenda, Kristin, Kallen and Kara

  8. Dear Carol and family,
    This is Bob Greenberg from the old neighborhood in Elmhurst where you and your brother Bob grew up. My wife Arlene and I send our condolences to you and your family. We hope that the memories that you cherish of the full life you experienced with James will in time heal the pain you are feeling so deeply today.
    With love,
    Bob & Arlene Greenberg

  9. Our deepest sympathies go out to Carol and Jim’s family. May your beautiful memories (And there are so many of them!) help bring you peace.

  10. I do not have words. Jim and Carol both are dear friends and people I look up to. You are in my prayers dear Carol. We love you and pray for strength and acceptance during this terrible time. Love Elaine and Al❤❤

  11. We learned of Jim’s passing just this morning. We met Jim through a mutual friend during the years 2001 to 2004. Jim was a kind, patient and generous friend always willing to lend a hand or share a conversation. The world was truly a better place because of Jim.

    Our sympathies to Carol and family on this loss of a wonderful soul.


    Terry & Cindy Beverley

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