James E. Arkins, 103, of Peru, passed away peacefully on Sunday, August 15, 2021 in his home surrounded by his family.
Mass of Christian burial will be 10:30 AM Friday in St. Patrick’s Church in La Salle with Rev. Thomas Otto officiating. Burial will follow at St. Vincent’s Cemetery in La Salle with full military honors conducted by the La Salle/Oglesby Veterans Memorial Group. Visitation will be from 5 to 7:00 PM Thursday in the Hurst Funeral Home in La Salle with a rosary to be recited at 7:00 PM by the Knights of Columbus. Additional visitation will be Friday in the church from 9:30 AM until services. Masks would be appreciated. Live streaming of the mass will start at approximately 10:30 AM via the Hurst Funeral Home Facebook page.
James was born in La Salle at St. Mary’s Hospital to Elmer and Catherine (McDonald) Arkins on December 20, 1917. He attended St. Patrick’s Grade School, La Salle-Peru Township High School, and the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy. He enlisted with the US Navy in 1942, attended Officers School at Columbia University in New York and was assigned to the U.S.S. Albermarie for service primarily in the North Atlantic. He served as a Lieutenant until his discharge at the end of the war. He returned home and began a long career as a Pharmacist with his dad. Together, they operated two Arkins Rexall Stores in Oglesby and La Salle. Jim continued to operate the 8th Street store until his retirement. For his service to the profession, he received the Honorary President of the Illinois Pharmacist Association and also received the distinguished Bowl of Hygiea Award presented nationwide for service to Pharmacy.
Jim married Emily Hybke on April 19, 1947. Together they had four sons; Jim (Pat) of Spring Valley, Jack (Beth) of Peru, Terry (Laurie) of La Salle and Dan (Marilyn) of Ridgfield, CT. He had ten grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren, and one brother Bill (Kaye) of Oglesby.
He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Emily on December 27, 1976, one brother Joe, one sister Fern Liner, grandson Michael James Arkins in 1975, and great grandson Ian Mark Balestri.
James was an active member of St. Patrick’s Parish. The church was extremely important to him. He was a member of the Parish Council, a Pere Marquette Medal of Honor recipient by the Peoria Diocese, school board president, on the Board of Directors of the St. Vincent Cemetery, and the Knights of Columbus Council #792. He was active with the Lighted Way, Horizon House, the Lions Club, the Red Cross, SMH Hospice. He was a Red Coat at St. Margaret’s Hospital and a volunteer at Pads.
The family would like to give thanks to Dr. Inciong, Lisa, Mary Jo, Christy, and the wonderful nurses at St. Margaret’s Hospice. A special thank you to Pat, Marlene, and Beth whose help, advice, and tender loving care cannot be measured. Also, to SMH DME and Home Instead for quick aid and assistance.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial directed to his family to be used toward one of his favorite charities.
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