Obituary of Jim Kuzel
James Anthony John Kuzel, Jim/”Q” passed away peacefully on July 2, 2023 at TMC’s Peppi’s House Hospice with the love of his life, wife Vicky, by his side. He was born in Chicago, IL on Aug 12, 1943 to his parents, Vivian (Zolecki) and Anton J Kuzel. Jim is survived by his wife of 39 years; daughter Colleen Millen (Steve), grands Jacob and Samantha; step-daughter Susan Oliver (Rob), grands Jack and Phoebe; sister Penny Fruechte (Harry); brother Tony Kuzel (Linda); 10 nieces and nephews, and many cousins and friends. After high school Jim joined the Army. He did one hardship tour for a year in Turkey, receiving an award for outstanding soldier of the month. Upon discharge Jim worked for Needham, Harper, and Steers in advertising, followed by a job with Spiegel Catalog as copy chief. After earning a BA degree in Administration of Criminal Justice from the U of IL, Circle campus, Jim was hired by Schaumburg, IL Police Department in 1971. Jim loved police work and always tried his best in confronting difficult situations to ease tensions. He was well liked and respected by both the officers and staff. When Jim worked Juvenile, he realized that homeless or runaway girls had to be transported into Chicago for detention. This took them away from the community and their schools, while the boys had a place to stay in the suburbs. Jim got a few influential people together and with them established the Jennings Home for Girls, right in Schaumburg. What a proud moment! School was still calling him. He received an MA in Criminology, Law, and Justice from Western Illinois Univ in 1989. During his last several years at SPD, Jim taught Criminology at Harper Community College. He served 30 years with the SPD, retiring as a Lieutenant in September, 2001. Shortly after, Jim had heart surgery and was ill for some time. Prior to this he had substituted for a third grade class at Collins Elem. Jim was a big hit with the kids. When he was ill they sent him Christmas cards and Valentine cards telling him what a great teacher he was and how much they liked him. In 2005 Jim and Vicky moved to Tucson where Vicky was able to complete her 44 year nursing career. Jim loved all sports, playing football, baseball, and running cross country in HS. His great joy was teaching Colleen softball and watching her excel in softball, basketball and volleyball. He also enjoyed playing cards, especially pinochle and cribbage. Jim participated in church activities as president of church council at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Schaumberg, along with chair of worship and music, plus singing in the choir. Here at Lutheran Church of the Foothills he taught Sonday School, was a worship assistant, and attended Bible study. Jim loved the Lord, called him his “Big Brother”. Surely, Jim is with Him now. Heaven has one more saint.
A Celebration of Life will be held, Saturday, July 29, 2023 at 11:00 am at Lutheran Church of the Foothills, 5102 N Craycroft Rd with inurnment in the church Memorial Garden. A lunch will follow in the church activities room. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Lutheran Church of the Foothills, Special Music or to komen.org. Jim went to HS school with Susie Goodman Komen. Thank you to the wonderful staff at TMC, Peppi’s House and The Center at Tucson. You made a difference. Arrangements by Brings Mortuary.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jim Kuzel, please visit Tribute Store