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James E. McGovern

January 31, 1927 November 11, 2020
James E. McGovern
There are condolences waiting approval on James's Tribute wall
Obituary for James E. McGovern

McGovern, James E. age 93

James E. McGovern, age 93, was born on January 31, 1927 in Chicago, IL, to the late Mary (née Smith)
and Phillip McGovern. Raised in Chicago on 80th and Paxton, he was proud to be a student at St.
Ignatius High School, making the long daily journey back and forth from the South Shore neighborhood.
He was an avid Notre Dame and Chicago Cardinals football fan and a lifelong supporter of the White Sox,
although he once got a tryout with the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Jim loved to play baseball and
basketball and would organize games with the kids in his neighborhood.

Attending Illinois State Normal University, he received a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1949 and a
Master of Science in Education in 1951.

Jim met his loving wife, Joan Mathes, a junior high teacher who taught art and English, while teaching in
Markham, IL at the Markham Park Elementary School. They were married on August 7, 1954 and moved
to South Holland, IL.

Jim was a physical education teacher prior to becoming the principal of Coolidge elementary school in
Phoenix, IL and the principal of Roosevelt, Madison and Eisenhower elementary schools, all located in
District 151.

In addition to maintaining his successive positions as principal of Coolidge, Madison, Roosevelt, and then Eisenhower, Jim worked as Assistant Superintendent of District 151 in South Holland. Many teachers
and students fondly remember Jim as an exemplary role model who impacted many with his knowledge,
patience, humility and guidance.

Jim was preceded in death by his devoted wife Joan (Mathes) and his beloved son, James P. McGovern;
loving parents Mary and Phillip McGovern; loving brother Phillip McGovern II, Captain in the U.S. Army
in WW II; loving brother Thomas McGovern, 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, killed in WWII; loving sister
Mary (née McGovern) Brady; loving sister Kathleen (née McGovern) Moran; and loving brother Dan McGovern.

Devoted father of Kathy Dunn and Lynn (James Jann) McGovern.

Proud grandfather of Katelyn Dunn and of Charlotte, Steven, Morgan and Halle Grotewold.

Dear uncle and great uncle of many nieces and nephews.

Services and interment private

Donations in tribute of James E. McGovern may be made to the Gary Sinise Foundation garysinisefoundation.org or the Wounded Warriors Project www.woundedwarriorproject.org

Please leave a memory for the family on James’ Tribute Wall; your stories will bring comfort to the family.

www.sheehyfh.com 708-857-7878

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