Jim Gardner owned Jime Z's Sports Bar
James H. (Razor) Gardner opened Jime Z’s Sports Bar in Roscoe, Illinois in 2007 after a long career in manufacturing. He spent many years enjoying his time with his customers and friends. Then in 2014, Jim opened up a second pub in downtown Rockton close to his home, where he spent much of his latter years enjoying the company of his close friends and regulars.
Jim passed away peacefully in his sleep on November 22, 2022 at the age of 72, at his home in Rockton, Illinois.
Jim was born in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, on April 29, 1950, the oldest of Howard and Mildred Gardner's four children. His early years in the beautiful Kentucky lakes and fields were filled with catching passes, playing bass guitar in a popular local band, The Marquis, and hunting and fishing with his family and friends. On the football field, he was a highly talented wide receiver. He graduated from Elizabethtown High School in 1967 and went on to play college football at Morehead State University for three years.
After working several jobs following his college experience, Jim settled in to a long and very successful career with Gates Rubber, where he advanced to the position of Production Manager. He retired in Rockton, Illinois after almost 40 years of faithful service.
But Jim was far from ready to settle into retirement. He remained actively involved with the Rockton community and his business well into his early 70s until health issues began to ensue. At the end of his life, he retained his fierce independence and chose to enter hospice care rather than accepting cancer treatment or life in a skilled nursing facility.
Dawn Cassady says, "We were the first customers to walk in the day he opened Jimez. Ended up staying all day! For about a decade, he sponsored our fantasy football league... He loved butterscotch pie... He was a true Southern gentleman, and possibly the biggest Cubs fan that ever lived. Died like he lived... quietly with no fanfare."
Jim is survived by an estranged daughter, MacKenzie, and loving furry companions, Norton and Harley.
A visitation will be held from 12:30 p.m. until the funeral ceremony at 2:00 p.m., Friday, Dec. 2, 2022 at McCorkle Funeral Home - Rockton Chapel, 767 N. Blackhawk Blvd., Rockton, IL with Rev. Dan Herman officiating.
But following his funeral, the celebration of life begins at 4 p.m. at Jime Z’s Sports Bar, 11677 Main St, Roscoe, Illinois. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jim's memory to Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary.