Jim Birks, long time stock car racer, 1959 Rockford Speedway Track Champion, and an accomplished outside salesman for White-Sundstrand Machine Tool passed away peacefully and willingly on July 7, 2018, at the age of 90 due to age related matters.
Born and raised on the land across the street from what is now St. Anthony Hospital, in Rockford IL, on March 22, 1928, where his grandparents helped to raise him at their farm called “Tip Top Stables”. He always loved animals but desired the need for speed be it taking his grandmother Nell Corlett for a motorcycle ride or up in an airplane with him. She believed in him, and the most wonderful part of Jim was her influence shining through. Jim also resided in the Peoria area, Belvidere, Poplar Grove, Roscoe, and finally, Wauconda, IL where he had a home he never thought he could love, and was very happy being surrounded by people who waited on him hand and foot.
He worked magic with making a car engine purr, and he had a talent for pleasing corporate customers. He didn't know the word, "no", when it came to his sales career, and through the years the plaques of his corporate accomplishments gathered on the wall above his desk. He made some wonderful friends through Caterpillar in Peoria, IL, and Rock Island Arsenal in Moline, IL. Personally, he was best described by his friends as a character, was known by many, and he loved to entertain both customers and friends with his family. His sense of humor, when he was at his best, could send you into quite a belly laugh. Speed limit signs rarely existed in his world for anything; he defied the rules, and he was different.
Survived by his daughter, Shelly, his devoted son-in-law, and a loving granddaughter.
His daughter requests the richness of your past stories as she and her family celebrate his life at an informal graveside gathering (just the way Dad would have wanted it, in casual attire) on Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 11:00 a.m., at Willowbrook Cemetery, 12962 Willowbrook Rd., Roscoe, IL.