James E. “Jim” Zilch, 79, of Washington, IL went home to be with his heavenly Father, at 4:21 pm Friday, September 4, 2020 at Richard L. Owens Hospice Home in Peoria, IL. Born on October 6, 1940 in Peoria, IL to Charles B. and Elsie Watts Zilch, he married Sharon K. Sandifar on September 16, 1962 in East Peoria, IL. She survives. Also surviving are 3 daughters, Kristi L. (Bryan C.) Marshall of Marion, MA, Laura J. Dunton (Jim Neltner) of Morton, IL, and Amy L. (Keven T.) Scalf of Washington, IL, 6 grandchildren, Allyce Marshall, Melissa (Brett) Walton, Aaron Dunton, Ashley (Justin) Turpen, Derek Marshall and Hayli Marshall, 2 great-grandchildren, Cameron Walton and Cooper Walton, 1 brother, Carl (Rosemary) Zilch of Washington, IL, and many nieces, nephews, and in-laws. He was preceded in death by his parents and 1 brother, Joseph Zilch. Jim was raised and attended school in Green Valley, IL and graduated from Pekin High School in 1959. He worked in the Retail Grocery business for many years, purchasing Jim’s Bi-Rite Grocery in Washington and later working at Caterpillar Tractor Co. as a Machinist for many years until retiring in 2000. Always keeping busy, Jim also worked construction, roofing and sales positions over the years. He was a devoted family man and his family was one of his greatest joys. He was an active assistant summer softball coach for all 3 of his “girls”, and enjoyed gardening, fishing, hunting, camping, and motorcycling. An avid antique and farm collector, Jim and Sharon enjoyed traveling off the beaten path together. Jim was also a 50 year member of Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church in Washington. Private family services will be held on Thursday with burial at Hillcrest Memory Gardens in rural Morton. Deiters Funeral Home and Crematory is assisting the family with arrangements. Memorials may be made to Faith Lutheran Child Care Center, Mayo Clinic Cancer Research or to Richard L. Owens Hospice Home.
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