Christian 08

James J. Giles

December 5, 1942 ~ September 4, 2023 (age 80) 80 Years Old


On September 4, 2023, at 9:35am PT, James J Giles, 80, peacefully passed away at his home surrounded by his family.  After a brief yet courageous battle with cancer, James took his final breath and entered his Heavenly Home as his family was praying “The Lord’s Prayer” at his bedside.

Born in Melrose Park, IL to Joseph and Elsie Giles, James grew up learning to love baseball, cheer on the Chicago Cubs, play guitar, and bowl, as he grew into his adulthood years. As a young man, he traveled from coast to coast and was drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War. Upon his return to the Chicago area, James met his future wife, Donna, whom he stated that he loved more than his guitar. For a young man who had saved up to buy his cherished guitar, this was quite the statement! James and Donna were married at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Melrose Park, IL in 1968 and were happily married for over 54 years. During that time, they shared their love of music and song with children of all ages. Their rendition of “When I’m 64,” which they eventually had to change to ‘When I’m 84’ once they surpassed the age of 64, was always a requested favorite. They were very active in establishing and participating in choirs, youth groups, Sunday school, Bible studies and sharing their music during church services. Throughout the years, James and Donna’s dedication to their church, family, and friends was felt and appreciated by all who knew them. James was a member of different Lutheran churches over the years and was a current member of Crown of Life Lutheran Church in Sun City West, AZ.

James will be remembered as a man who loved Jesus and sang songs about the Bible every chance he had. He was fun loving, telling jokes like his famous “candle” joke and being asked to say it again throughout the years. James was caring and generous, willing to help others out at any time. Whether it was opening his home to friends in need or helping out his kids with any issue that was overwhelming for them at the time, James was always ready to lend a helping hand. He was a loving husband, father, brother, cousin, Godfather, uncle, and friend to many. He will be greatly missed.

James enjoyed playing the guitar up until the end, composing songs, and creating his company, JDK Productions LLC, which publishes books and songs to bring Bible stories to children. He was an avid bowler and enjoyed playing golf - so long as the weather was under 110 degrees in Arizona. His love of “Russell's BBQ” in Elmwood Park, IL was a family tradition that started when he was a child and continued to be a regular stop on every visit back to the Chicago area. James spent many evenings playing cribbage, cards, and games with friends and family over the decades. The Giles’ house was always a frequent place for parties and gatherings and usually involved playing charades or bringing out the guitar to sing along together. James' love for the Cubs continued.  He was able to travel to Chicago for the parade in celebration of the 2016 World Series win and he attended Cubs spring training games each year, even leading the 7th inning stretch on numerous occasions.

James and Donna had 3 children, Kristi, Greg, and Kim. They were his pride and joy and he looked forward to their every phone call, visit, and talk. He treasured time with his extended family and close friends throughout the years.

James is survived by his loving wife, Donna, children, Kristi (Joe) Haak, Greg (Holly) Giles, and Kim Giles, and step grandchildren Drew Haak, Emma Haak, and Leah Haak. James was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Jack Giles, and his sister, Beverly Smith.

A Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday, October 14, 2023, at 2pm at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in St. Charles, IL.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to JDK Productions LLC (PayPal @jdkproductions5 or Zelle 623-512-0021 for JDK Productions LLC) in order to continue James’ passion for sharing Bible Stories in song to children all over the world.


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Celebration of Life
October 14, 2023

2:00 PM
St. Mark's Lutheran Church
101 South 6TH Avenue
St. Charles, IL 60174


JDK Productions LLC
16147 W. Vista North Drive, Sun City West AZ 85375
Tel: 1-623-512-0021

PayPal@jdkproductions5 Zelle 623-512-0021 for JDK Productions LLC


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