James P. Plunkett, age 97, of Sleepy Hollow passed away peacefully in the comfort of his home and under the care of his family on Sunday morning, October 23, 2022.
James was active, living independently and had recently passed his Illinois driving test.
James was born on September 30, 1925, in Kentland, Indiana, and was the son of the late James J. and Mae (nee Weist) Plunkett. He was a resident of the Dundee area for over 60 years and a member of St. Catherine of Siena Church.
James attended St. Meinrads seminary in his youth and later graduated from Kentland High School in 1943. He served as a Tool and Die apprentice with his close friend and mentor, Robert Bachi. Both men would go on to build successful businesses in the magnetics industry. Jim’s friend and longtime business partner, Robert Master preceded him in death.
Jim married Melba Bonnett on August 18, 1951. Melba preceded Jim in death on July 22, 2021, after 70 years of marriage. Melba was his lifelong business partner and love of his life. They were frequently seen at the Anvil Club on Friday nights with Melba singing at the piano and were seldom apart.
James was an accomplished private pilot and avid train enthusiast, utilizing his machinist skills to build a live steam engine as well as laying 3,300’ of track by hand. He enjoyed passing on his skills to his grandchildren, who always knew where he hid his candy.
Survivors include his daughter, Julie (Dan) Hayden; his son, Greg (Lola) Plunkett; his grandchildren: Erin (Jason), Megan (Arian), James, Brian, Miya, and Bavaria, and his great-grandchildren: Zack, Bridget, Aidan, Brady, Andrew, and Evelyn.
In addition to his parents, and his wife, Melba, James was preceded in death by his granddaughter, Tricia, and grandson, Quynh.
A Requiem Mass will be held at St. Peter Catholic Church at 27551 Volo Village Road in Volo on Thursday, November 3, 2022, at 11:00 A.M. with Rev. Fr. Nathan Caswell, officiating. Private family interment will be held at a later date in St. Joseph Cemetery, Kentland, Indiana. In lieu of flowers. Memorials may be made to St. Peter’s Church. Miller Funeral Home in West Dundee is assisting the family with arrangements.