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  • Fairbury News staff

Obituary: Paternoster




James Robert Paternoster, 79, Fairbury, died at 5:51 am Friday, February 18, 2022 at his residence, Fairbury.


His funeral will be at 10:00 am Wednesday, February 23, 2022 at the First Presbyterian Church, Fairbury with Pastor Dan Robertson officiating. Jim’s funeral will be streamed on the First Presbyterian Church of Fairbury’s Facebook page. Burial will be in Graceland Cemetery, Fairbury.


Visitation will be 4:00 to 7:00 pm Tuesday, February 22, 2022 at Duffy-Pils Memorial Home, Fairbury and 9:00 to 9:45 am Wednesday at the church. The family suggests memorials be given to Prairie Lands Foundation (for North Park seating improvement) or Dominy Memorial Library, both in Fairbury.


Jim was born November 13, 1942 in Fairbury the son of Walter “Bud” and Anna Eileen Grosse Paternoster. He married Michele Whitfill on April 27, 1968 in Decatur. She survives in Fairbury.


Other survivors include their children, Kristi (Rob) Sutter, Bloomington, Jeff (Nathan Correll) Paternoster, Normal; two grandsons, Alexander and Jacob Bingham; one sister, Becky Debatin, Highland.


He is preceded in death by his parents.


Jim was a 1960 graduate of Fairbury-Cropsey High School and in 1966 he graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering.


Jim served in the National Guard from 1960-1969. After graduating from the University of Illinois he worked at Owens Corning Fiberglas, Granville, OH. In 1969 he returned to the family business, Paternoster Motor Company and continued selling Fords until 2011. In 2012 he began working with the Tredennick family at K&S Ford, Fairbury until his retirement in 2019 which marked his 50th year with Ford.


Jim demonstrated love for his community through service. He was a proud member of the Board of Education that consolidated the Prairie Central School District, an original board member of the Prairie Lands Foundation, and as a Dominy Memorial Library board member he worked to update and expand the community library. Through his work and service to the community he touched the lives of many.


Jim was very proud of his family and loved them deeply. He enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren and found pleasure in woodworking and building things for others. He will be missed by all that knew and loved him.


To help keep his spirit alive the family asks you to share your memories of Jim. Memory cards will be available at the visitation, funeral, and K&S Ford.

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