James's Story

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James Mathew Kestufskie, of Gulfport, Miss., formerly of Westville, lovingly known as "Grandpa by the Ocean" by his grandsons, passed away March 5, 2018, at Pleasant Meadows Senior Living, Chrisman, Ill.
James was 90 years old, born November 23, 1927, to James Kestufskie, born in Pennsylvania, and Mary Giacone Kestufskie, born in Italy. They resided in Westville. James lost both of his parents at an early age, his mother when he was 3 and his father when he was 16. He remained in Westville where he worked his way through school. He worked at Kovanic's Service Station, vulcanizing tires and Bee Line Bus, washing buses at 12 and later became a driver.
James was a graduate of Westville High School. Upon graduation, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served as a sergeant in Korea during the Korean War.
He married Joan Black Kestufskie, who gave him his only child, his namesake, James Michael Kestufskie.
James was a hard worker and became the manager at three American transit bus companies, earlier known as Bee Line. One of those companies led him to Gulfport, Miss., where he met and married Mary Cucurullo. They owned and operated Mary's Lounge in Gulfport. Mary passed away in October of 1993.
James remained in Gulfport until Hurricane Katrina wiped away his business and his home. He moved back to Illinois to be near his family.
He loved his Westville roots and would enjoy going to the Westville American Legion to buy a "round" for the house on occasion.
Jimmy was a kind, gentle soul, a true gentleman as said by many. He will be dearly missed by his family: his son, James Michael (Cheryl) Kestufskie of Georgetown, Ill.; his grandsons, Matthew Kestufskie of Chicago, and Hugh Kestufskie of Georgetown; his sister, Nora Kestufskie Helton of Cincinnati, Oho; his nieces and nephews, Stella and Mike Turner of Van Alstyne, Texas, Madonna Traurig of Goshen, Ohio, and Jimmy and Joyce Strain of Milford, Ohio. He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Mary Giacone Kestufskie, and his wife, Mary Cucurallo.
The family would like to say thank you and give their sincere appreciation for the care James received at OSF Sacred Heart Medical Center in Danville and Champaign. To his second family at Pleasant Meadows, we cannot thank you enough your care and love for James will be forever be in our hearts.
James will be laid to rest in Gulfport, Miss., with a private family service at a later date. Sunset's Houghton-Leasure Funeral Home, Georgetown, assisted his family with arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given in James' name to Pleasant Meadows Senior Living, Chrisman. Please join his family in sharing memories through his Tribute Wall at www.sunsetfuneralhome.com
Published on March 8, 2018
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