MARION — James “Tapper” Gulledge, 88, passed away suddenly at 12:58 p.m. Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Herrin Hospital.
He was born Monday, Oct. 12, 1931, in Marion, the son of Charles and Vera Gulledge.
James answered the call of this nation by enlisting into the U.S. Navy and after his period of faithful service he was honorably discharged with a rank of Seaman Recruit. He then enlisted into the U.S. Coast Guard and after his period of faithful service was honorably discharged in 1960, with a rank of Engineman, Second Class.
He was united to Toni Pedigo on Tuesday, March 31, 1981, in Marion, and together they have shared more than 40 wonderful years of marriage together. His working career was with Southern Illinois University of Carbondale, as a custodial supervisor of buildings until his retirement, more than 20 years ago.
In his spare time, he enjoyed spending time outdoors, fishing, hunting and he loved to play golf. His love for animals was insurmountable, and all of his animals were well taken care of, especially his faithful companion and loving dog, Hobert.
He was actively involved in American Legion Post 147 and Heyde-Pillow VFW Post 1301, both of Marion. Jim was a proud member of the Shriner's in South Bend, Indiana, and in Marion, and became a 32nd degree Mason in Marion; where he was always involved with their fish fry's, until his health declined.
He is survived by his wife, Toni Gulledge of Carterville; daughter, Patricia Kerr of Marion; other extended family and many friends.
There have been many special memories created that will be cherished by those he leaves behind.
He was preceded in death by his son, Jimmy Gulledge; brother, Bob Gulledge; sister, Ruthanne Bushemi; parents, Charles and Vera Gulledge; and son-in-law, Louis A. Kerr.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Wilson-McReynolds Funeral Home, 900 N. Court St., Marion. DUE TO HEALTH CONCERNS RELATED TO THE COVID-19 VIRUS AND BY THE SIGNING OF EXECUTIVE ORDER BY THE ILLINOIS GOVERNOR, it is recommended if you are planning on attending the visitation or service please wear a mask and social distance yourself from others. The time of visitation will be from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1, at the funeral home. Following the time of visitation, funeral service will be at 11 a.m., with Pastor Jim Jenkel officiating. Interment will follow in Rose Hill Cemetery of Marion, near his son. Military honors will be accorded at cemetery by members of Heyde-Pillow VFW Post 1301 of Marion, and members of the U.S. Coast Guard Funeral Honors Burial Detail.
The family has requested, in lieu of customary gifts of remembrance, that memorial contributions be made to Shriners Hospital, Finding Forever Animal Rescue or St. Jude's Children's Hospital.
Memorial contributions may be mailed to the Wilson-McReynolds Funeral Home, 900 N. Court St., Marion, IL 62959. Memorial contribution envelopes will be available at the funeral home.
To leave an online condolence of memory, visit www.wilsonmcreynolds.com or for additional information call 618-993-2131.
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