Mechanic 04

James Richard Skaggs

August 23, 1933 ~ December 30, 2020 (age 87)

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James Richard Skaggs, 87, of Carrollton passed away on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at his home in Wauconda, Illinois. Jim was born on August 23, 1933 to Glenn Skaggs, a farmer and general manager of the Carrollton A&P grocery store, and Vera Skaggs (Connolly) a talented seamstress.

Jim will be greatly missed by his wife Barbara (Kampmeyer) Skaggs, his children Suzyn (Mario) Barrientos, Carolyn Skaggs, and Jonathan (Jamie) Skaggs, and his beloved grandchildren Elizabeth and Natalie Barrientos, and Ivan and Greer Chapple. He is survived by brothers Glenn (Elsa) Skaggs and John (Sara) Skaggs. He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Thomas (Barbara) Skaggs and Robert (Millie) Skaggs. 

Jim spent his childhood in Carrollton, Illinois where he helped his father on the farm, gave pony rides to the other children on his pony Topsy, and made mischief in town with his four brothers. He attended St. John’s Grade School and High School, and transferred to Carrollton Community High School his senior year to play football. 
After high school Jim attended Southern Illinois University where he earned his teaching degree. He taught high school biology for several years before enlisting in the Army and serving in the Korean War. Upon returning from Korea, he enrolled at the University of Illinois where earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering. He went on to work at Pillsbury Corporation, followed by Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Illinois Central Railroad Industries.

Jim transitioned from electrical engineering into training and development, and finally into human resources. He spent several years at Wickes Corporation where he served as Executive Vice President of Human Resources and was integral to their successful reorganization in the 1980s. 

After retirement, Jim delved into his love of inventing. He worked diligently on a unique type of clock and obtained several patents for its creation. He called his clock company, Color My Time. A lifelong learner, Jim never stopped reading and challenging himself. He took an interest in everyone he spoke to, wanting to know all about their lives, their jobs and their interests. He had a love of poetry, jazz, the fine arts, magic and jogging, and he travelled the world throughout his life. Jim’s wealth of knowledge and wisdom were deep. His children swear there was never a question he couldn’t answer or a problem he couldn’t solve. He loved his family dearly and always made sure they knew it. In true Jim spirit, he was a fighter to the end.

A private family mass was held at St. John's Church in Carrollton and burial followed at the Oak Wood Cemetery north of Greenfield.  The Shields-Bishop Funeral  was entrusted with the arrangements.  Please leave an online condolence or memory at


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Private Services

St. John's Church
414 Third Street
Carrollton, IL 62016

Private Committal

Oak Wood Cemetery
US Highway 267
Greenfield, IL 62044

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