News From Terre Haute, Indiana


June 10, 2014

James (Jim) Benton Soard

DANA — James (Jim) Benton Soard, 86, passed in the company of family and friends on Friday, June 6, 2014, at home in Dana. He was born March, 2, 1928, to Omri and Ida (Mitchell) Soard.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Bern Alice (Bernie) Parke from Georgetown, Ill., living in Haven at Pleasant Meadows, Senior Living, in Chrisman, Ill. Their first child (James Benton Soard Jr.) was lost soon after birth. Their daughter, Jamie born the following year, lives in Mill Valley, Calif. She is married to Thomas Geidt and has three children, MacKenzie, Elliot and Austin. Their second son, Jonathan, lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Jim's only sister, Eva Harris passed several years ago as have two of her children, Jim and Charles. Her daughter, Martha Harris, lives in Houston.

He was an avid sportsman, graduated from Ridgefarm High School, Ridgefarm. Ill. He served honorably in the U.S. Navy at the end of World War II. He was a farmer, for his father, at Woodyard, Ill., then independently for Milo and Stella White, outside of Scottland, Ill. He became a grain dealer and retired after 12 years from Soard Grain Co. in St. Bernice, at 48 years old.

A member of Gideons International, he taught a Bible class in the Danville, Ill. Correctional Facility. He repaired and refinished antique furniture. His passion, was to restore and repair mechanical clocks, a Certified Clock Maker of Indiana.

Jim has the longest lifespan of any male member of his family. He was grateful to be tended by caring neighbors, family, friends and health care professionals in the area throughout his life and especially in his later years. It was his wish to leave us knowing that they were acknowledged:

• The Haga family

• The Laymon family

• Rhonda Barclay

• Connie and Larry Williams

• Tonya Von Kelsheimer and her family

• Valerie Rodrick, LMT,

• Dr. S. Patel, Union Hospital Cardiology

• Dr. James Walsh, who took him on as Primary Care Physician with full knowledge of what he was getting into

• Neurological team at Union Hospital

• Nursing staff at Union Hospital that knew Jim as a "frequent flier" over the last several years

• Administration and staff at Pleasant Meadows Senior Living, certain of a place in their hearts as well as the facility

• Connie Rhodes, Jane Furry and the team at Senior Care, Paris, Ill.

• VNA Hospice, enabling him to pass at home — with a special thanks to Laura, Robin, Tasha.

• Area 7 Agency on Aging and Disabled

Please forgive us for not being able to provide a complete list here, but know that he was grateful and his survivors send their thanks.

Following his directions, there will be no visitation and no funeral. He is to be cremated by Mattox-Wood funeral home and his ashes interred in Bono Cemetery. A memorial service, date to be determined, will accompany burial.

In his memory, please contribute to The Friends of Ernie Pyle,


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