Jim Wyman, 73, of Sandwich died on Sunday, January 9 surrounded by his loving family.
He was born April 1, 1948 in Elgin, IL, the son of Willis W. and Mabel (Knox) Wyman. Both his mother’s and father’s families were old-time families in McHenry County, his mother’s family settling on the Irish Prairie between McHenry and Crystal Lake in the 1840’s and 1850’s. Mr. Wyman was the grandson of George and Frances (Salzmann) Wyman and Michael and Mary Ann (Doherty) Knox.
He married Pamela Lee Schinler of Mundelein on June 1, 1974 at the old St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church on Pierson Street in Crystal Lake.
Mr. Wyman graduated from St. Thomas the Apostle Grade School in Crystal Lake in 1962, Crystal Lake Community High School in 1966, and Western Illinois University in Macomb in 1971, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications with a minor in Journalism.
From 1971-1976, Mr. Wyman was an announcer, program director, and station manager at WGIL-AM and WAAG-FM radio stations in Galesburg, IL. He was sports director at WSPY-FM, Plano, IL from 1976-1980, and he worked part-time for WSPY from 1986 until his death. He won the Illinois Broadcasters Association Silver Dome Award for “Best Radio News Reporter” in a medium market in 2018.
Mr. Wyman returned to graduate school in 1980 and received a Master of Science Degree in Secondary Education from Northern Illinois University in 1981 and a Master of Arts Degree in English from NIU in 1986. He taught and was assistant speech team coach at Yorkville High School during the 1980-81 school year, and then taught English, journalism, and speech for 26 years at William Fremd High School, Palatine, IL where he also served as newspaper adviser, assistant speech team coach and public address announcer for home football, boys basketball and girls soccer games. He retired from Fremd in 2007 and was inducted into the Fremd Wall of Honor in 2019.
In 2009, he returned to teaching English at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove. In 2010 he taught Irish Literature at Dominican University in River Forest, where his mother attended college from 1929-31. Mr. Wyman continued to teach freshman composition at Dominican until 2012. He also taught English and communications at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois, English at Joliet Junior College, and English and journalism at Kishwaukee Community College in Malta.
Mr. Wyman returned to WGIL radio in Galesburg in 2007 where he was the play-by-play announcer for the Galesburg High School girls basketball team from 2007 to 2009 and during the 2013-2014 season.
Mr. Wyman served three terms as a commissioner on the Crystal Lake Historic Preservation Commission. He was a life member of the McHenry County Genealogical Society, a member the McHenry County Historical Society, and the Crystal Lake Historical Society, for which he served as a newsletter writer. He was also a member of the Thoreau Society.
He was an amateur genealogist, specializing in the history of the McHenry Irish who emigrated from County Kilkenny, Ireland during the Irish Potato Famine.
Mr. Wyman was also a former director of the Northern Illinois School Press Association and a former member of the Journalism Education Association and the Illinois Journalism Education Association. In 2007, Mr. Wyman was inducted in the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame as a “Friend of Basketball.”
Mr. Wyman was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Pam, of Sandwich and one daughter, Beth Butler (Mike), also of Sandwich; two granddaughters, Brynn and Annie Butler of Sandwich; a brother, Bob (Pam), of Crystal Lake; and a niece and nephew, Erin Wyman of Crystal Lake and Ben Wyman, of Normal. He is also survived by loving in-laws, nieces, and nephews.
Funeral services will be private with interment at Crystal Lake Memorial Park Cemetery. Rev. David Kaul will officiate. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Beverage Family Funeral Home in Sandwich and Davenport Family Funeral Home in Crystal Lake.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Crystal Lake Historical Society or to the Open Door Rehabilitation Center in Sandwich.