James Edward Reilly, Jr., 63, of Leavenworth, died Saturday, May 28, 2011, at the University of Kansas Hospital after a short battle with kidney cancer.
Jim was born March 11, 1948, at the old St. John Hospital in Leavenworth. He was the oldest of six children born to James Edward and Mary Nell (Whitlock) Reilly Sr.
He attended Sacred Heart Grade School and was active in Boy Scouts, attaining the highest ranking of Eagle Scout. Jim started working at the age of 14 at the old A&W Drive-In. He graduated from Immaculata High School in 1966 and attended Draughns Business College in Kansas City, Mo.
Jim was a Vietnam veteran, serving in the United States Naval Air Reserve from 1969 to 1974. In 1971, after returning from two tours aboard the USS Ranger, Jim (J.R.) began his 30 year career as the manager of A&W Family Restaurant. During that time he trained thousands of young people and made lasting friendships with many of his employees and customers.. After his retirement from A&W in 2001, Jim worked for Lance Cracker Company for several years. He spent the last four years working part time as a toll collector for the Kansas Turnpike.
On July 12, 1975, Jim married Deborah Ann Atkins at Immaculate Conception Church in Leavenworth. Together they spent the last 35 years raising their family and working with the young people of Leavenworth.
Jim is survived by his wife Debbie, of the home; his children, Angela Reilly-Harden and her husband Matt of Lawrence, Kan., Diane McCutchen and her husband Jason of The Woodlands, Texas, Missy Konig and her husband Michael of Napa, Calif., Chris Reilly of Lawrence, Kan, and Becca Reilly, of the home; two grandchildren, Sam Harden and Xavien Konig and one soon-to-be-born grandchild, Baby McCutchen.
He is also survived by his mother, Mary Reilly; his siblings, Kathy Lowe and husband Terry, George Reilly, Mike Reilly and wife Judy, Tim Reilly, Sue Chartier and husband David; an uncle, Ray Whitlock and wife Lois; and many nieces, nephews and in-laws.
Jim was preceded in death by his father, James Reilly, Sr., and his beloved Aunt Martha Sparling.
In his spare time, Jim was an avid collector and gardening enthusiast. He also enjoyed playing with his grandchildren and tracking his family genealogy. Jim was a very kind and loving son, brother, husband, father, and grandfather. He was also a great friend to many.
Visitation beginning with recitation of the rosary will be at 6 p.m. Friday, June 3, 2011, at the R.L. Leintz Funeral Home. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 4, 2011, at Immaculate Conception Church with Rev. David McEvoy, O.Carm., as celebrant. Burial with Military Honors will follow at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Lansing. Memorials in his name may be directed to Immaculate Conception Church, the American Cancer Society, or an Education Fund for his daughter.