James “Jim” Staniels , a longtime resident of West Chicago, IL, passed to glory at the age of 82. Five years after renal failure set in, with mounting health issues exacerbated by multiple falls, he spent his last few months at Meadowbrook Manor, in Naperville, where he was called home on Thursday, January 13th, 2022.
Jim was born on November 24, 1939, in Concord, NH to Arthur Hubbard Staniels (1877-1952) and Jennie Armit (nee Barton) Staniels (1898-1993). Raised by “three mothers” – two being his grown half-sisters who had kids about Jim's age – he graduated from Concord High and then moved to Chicago to attend Moody Bible Institute and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. It was there he met Nancy Lee Egeland while working odd jobs between schooling. He loved to tell the story of meeting her for the first time when he showed up at her apartment to take a shower. This happened when his roommate arranged a double date for them, with Nancy and her roommate, and then forgot to turn on their own water heater. Jim and Nancy married on July 15, 1967.
Once Jim obtained his Master of Divinity, he served as an ordained minister in rural Illinois for seven years before moving to West Chicago where he worked as a shipping clerk at Conservative Baptist of America. He used his ministry training as an Interim pastor at First Baptist West Chicago for over a year, then actively attended First Baptist Wheaton, followed by First Baptist Glen Ellyn, before helping with a church plant in Hanover Park for the better part of two decades. For more than 25 years, he volunteered at West Chicago Bible Church in many ways – including Awana, Jr. High and Sr. High youth group, and even took on the role of Elder, for a season. Jim always strove to find the mundane task that was not being done and then quietly do it, hopefully without too many noticing.
Until his health took a decline, Jim could be found riding his bike at a steady pace to and from work, or along one of the many routes and extensions of the Prairie Path. Even after starting dialysis, he still wanted to keep active, so he took daily walks around his neighborhood, and made quite a few friends with the people (and dogs!) he met.
Jim is survived by his children Bonnie (Cesar) Navarro, James (Melissa) Staniels, and Betty (Grant) Tregay; his grandchildren Elizabeth (Aaron) Paquette, CJ Navarro, Karina (Toni) Raggio-Martinez, David Navarro, Aaron Staniels, and Caitlin Staniels.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his half-sisters Ruth Cram and Elinor Goss and his wife, Nancy.
The family will be holding a private service and burial. A memorial service, open to any who wish to attend, will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 29, 2022, at West Chicago Bible Church : 209 S Oakwood Ave, West Chicago, IL 60185. The service can be streamed from the church’s YouTube channel, which can be found from their website:
In lieu of flowers, send donations to:
Saturday, January 29, 2022
Starts at 2:00pm
West Chicago Bible Church