HAMILTON, Ill. (WGEM) -
James Michael Drozdz, 53, of Hamilton, passed away in Wildwood, Georgia, at 1:00 A.M. Sunday, December 29, 2013.
Jim was born January 23, 1960, in Chicago, Illinois the son of James A. Drozdz and Joan M. (Moore) Brown. He attended Incarnation Catholic School and was a 1978 graduate of Alan B. Sheperd High School in Palos Heights, IL. Jim received his Bachelor’s Degree with Honors in Law Enforcement in 1981 from Western Illinois University. On June 2, 1984 he was united in marriage to Barbara Goodin at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Macomb. In 1990 Jim received his Master’s Degree from Western Illinois University and was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. He received his Juris Doctor degree in 1992 from the Southern Illinois University School of Law and was admitted to practice before Illinois courts. In 1999, he was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. In July of 2004 Jim received his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Iowa and was a member of the Pi Lambda Theta Honor Society.
Jim had served with the Illinois State Police from 1984 until 2004, when he became State’s Attorney of Hancock County. He had served in many capacities during that time including the Executive Directorship of the Division of Internal Investigation in Springfield. He had served as the Henderson County Assistant’s State Attorney from 1993 to 1995. He also served his profession as an Adjunct Professor in the LEJA Department at Western Illinois University and as a Research Fellow with the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Alexandria, Virginia. He was a member of the National District Attorneys Association and the Hancock County Bar Association. Jim also served as a Special Assistant to the Illinois Attorney’s General and was a Legal Advisor to the Illinois State Police in the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
Jim was an active community member serving as a paramedic for the Hancock County Ambulance Service and a firefighter for the Hamilton Fire Department. He was a member and past president of the Carthage Kiwanis Club and former member of the Carthage Lions Clubs. He was currently on the Hancock County Republican Precinct Committee. Jim was an active member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus and had served on the Immaculate Conception Parish Council.
Jim’s many interests included playing the bagpipes for area events and funerals, teaching Criminal Law. Criminal Procedure, EMS and EMT classes, body building, fitness training, traveling and semi-truck driving.
Jim is survived by his wife, Barbara Drozdz of Hamilton; his father, James Drozdz of Steger, Illinois; his mother and step-father, Joan and Gordon Brown of Crestwood, Illinois; a sister, Debra Reule of Crestwood; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Carol and Margie Goodin of Plymouth; a sister-in-law, Mary (Dale) Thompson of Macomb; two brothers-in-law, David Goodin of Monroe City, Missouri and Daniel (Barb Coovert) Goodin of Keokuk; four nephews, Mark (fiancé, Alex Porcelli) Thompson, Matthew (Andrea) Thompson, Michael (fiancé, Michele Teslicka) Thompson and Michael Reule; two nieces, Samantha (Tyler Huffman) Goodin and Rachel Reule; one great niece, Lyllie Huffman, a great nephew, Tucker Thompson, two aunts and several cousins.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents; aunts and uncles; one cousin; and an infant nephew.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 A.M. Saturday morning, January 4, 2014 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Carthage with burial to follow in St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Raritan, Illinois. Visitation with the family will be held from 3:00 – 8:00 P.M. with recitation of the Rosary at 8:00 Friday evening at Printy Funeral Home in Carthage. Memorials may be directed to the Immaculate Conception Catholic Parish Hall, the Hamilton Fire Department, the West Hancock Canine Rescue, or My Matthew’s House in Carthage. Printy Funeral Home of Carthage is in charge of arrangements.