Cover photo for James Lee Schunke's Obituary
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1957 James 2021

James Lee Schunke

July 22, 1957 — June 6, 2021

James (Jim) Lee Schunke, 63 of McKinney Texas, passed away on Sunday, June 6, 2021. He was born July 22, 1957 in Kankakee, the son of James "Pinky" and Willie (Bucksteeg) Schunke and they preceded him in death. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his beloved son, Matthew Joseph on June 8, 2019.

He is survived by his fiancé, Michele Price Schroeder, son Kyle James Schunke and Natascha Maca of Mckinney; Michele's daughters, Riley and husband Conner Cain of Evansville, IN, Grace and husband Kyle Balthazor of Clifton, one sister Jaye Lynn and husband Eric Gravitt of Normal; one brother, Dale Schunke of Gilman and many nieces and nephews. Jim is also survived by dear friends Marty and Maria Martindale and their daughter Rachel of Allen, TX.

Jim spent his childhood in Gilman, graduating from Gilman High School in 1975. He went on to earn a bachelor's degree in history at the University of Illinois in Champaign. Jim proudly served his country by enlisting in the United States Marine Corp. Following a honorable discharge from the military he embarked on a very successful career in Human Resources. He cherished many treasured friendships that he developed over the years and to this day friends across the industry recall his professionalism, old school work ethic, quick wit, genuine kindness and relentless humorous interjections in meetings and get togethers. From crazy sox, ugly Christmas sweaters, and shark heads to endless Yoda memes, Jim believed in having fun while working hard and in creating a work environment that supported everyone. He was quick to provide donuts in the morning, German potato salad for potlucks and kept an endless supply of snack mix in his cubicle. He never turned down an opportunity to bring out his tool belt to help with Habitat for Humanity or lace up his running shoes to participate in a Schneider Electric event or One Run for the Cancer Support Community. He prided himself on providing amazing customer support and worked tirelessly with candidates to set them up for success. This was reflected in numerous honors and awards for performance through the years and leaves a remarkable legacy.

Jim's charisma and endearing personality made being a part of his personal life an absolute joy. The pure and unconditional love that he had for his close friends and family was tremendous. Kyle and Matthew were the center of his world. His love for his boys was boundless. As a proud Pops, he mastered dirt bike riding and boating, sat proudly on the sidelines of soccer games providing snacks and drinks to the team, swelled with pride as he attended high school graduations and boasted about their life achievements to everyone. He introduced both sons to his love and passion for cooking and grilling. His most special moments were spent preparing spiral ham for special holidays, trading recipe ideas, and trying new things on his Big Green Egg. No Christmas passed without "scratchers" in the stockings and hanging the pickles on the tree. He always had a crisp 20 in the wallet for yardwork or just because. Jim also had a special place in his heart for Michele's children and shared the same pride and adoration for them and all their special moments.

Jim loved old black and white war movies, collecting guns, working in the yard, building things and restoring anything with an engine. He lived for weekends when the weather was just right, and he could ride his Harley to one of his favorite hang outs and have an ice-cold beer with his dear friend Marty. He loved adventures but was just as happy to be sitting on the patio catching a nap in the afternoon. Jim and Michele were very fortunate to have spent the last several years together, planning for the future and had just begun the process of renovating Jim's childhood home in Gilman. He loved talking about his vision for the final product and dreamed of sitting on the front porch with Michele enjoying their quiet life with his trusty barker Otto sitting at his feet.

Jim's zest for life was matched by his genuine, caring, protective, and loving nature. Everyone who was blessed to know him is better for having him in their life. The profound sadness and sense of loss is immeasurable. This is somewhat eased by the extraordinary amount of special memories we will all carry in our hearts, the knowledge that he touched so many lives, that he and Matthew are together again and that we will have a special guardian angel looking over all of us, as he always did. When you said I love you to Jim, he always responded with "More"……that embodies Jim. He loved us all …More.

A private family graveside service will be held at a later date.

Memorials may be made to Habitat for Humanity.

Arrangements are by the Knapp-Redenius Funeral Home in Gilman.
To send flowers to the family in memory of James Lee Schunke, please visit our flower store.


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