James “JD” Knox, 76, of Chatham, passed away at 3:05 am, Monday, June 3, 2024 at St. John’s Hospital. He was born July 28, 1947 in Springfield, the son of James Donald and Peggy (Motzig) Knox. He married Karen Marie Babiak on January 10, 1970.

He is survived by his wife; two daughters, Kelley (Donnie) Sloper of Riverton, and Shannon (Jason) Goss of Springfield; one brother. Terry “TK” (Debbie) Knox of New Berlin; five grandchildren, Kaleb Knox, Kylie Sloper (Matt Standish), Jace Knox, Raegan Sloper, and Jadyn Koeller; one great-granddaughter, Maeve Standish; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

His parents and his infant son precede him in death.

JD was a United States Army veteran serving 82 airborne during the Vietnam Era.

JD received his associate’s degree in Fire Science and went on to teach at Lincoln Land Community College. He retired as the Fire Chief of the Springfield, Illinois Fire Department where he served from 1970-2001.

He was a member of the Firefighters Postal Club, Elks Lodge 158, Chatham VFW 4763, the American Legion Post 759 and The Boyz of Illinois. JD enjoyed deer hunting, fishing, travelling and you could find him every Tuesday at Spammy’s Tavern.

He was larger than life, a mentor, leader and role model. He touched so many lives throughout his years. JD was the most loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend.

Graveside Service: 12:00 pm, Thursday, June 13, 2024 at Camp Butler National Cemetery where military honors will be conducted. Friends and Family are welcome.

The family will also host a Celebration of Life for JD on June 22, 2024 from 1:00 – 5:00 pm, at Firefighters Postal Club.

Memorial contributions may be given to Springfield Fire Department; Explorers Post 300; Sangamon County Interveterans Burial Detail or Associated Firefighters of Illinois Honor Guard.

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