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James P. Kull

June 15, 1945 ~ May 7, 2020 (age 74)


Educator, Craftsman, Traveler

James (Jim) P. Kull, 74, of Hillsboro, died on Thursday, May 7, 2020 at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis after a courageous battle with leukemia.

Graveside services will be held Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at Grace Cemetery in Strasburg, IL with Pastor Fred Kraemer officiating.  Plummer Funeral Home in Litchfield is assisting with arrangements.

James was born in Shelbyville, IL to Merl M. Kull and Grace O. (Ruff) Kull on June 15, 1945.

Jim grew up in Strasburg, graduating from Stewardson-Stras High School in 1963, attending Eastern Illinois University obtaining an Education Degree in 1967 and later a Master’s Degree.  He met his wife, Toni Tilmans, there and they were married on May 28, 1967 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Charleston, IL.

 Jim taught Industrial Arts and Building Trades at Hillsboro High School for 33 years.  Also during this time he and Terry Page designed and constructed several homes.  Jim later went on to renovate older homes, which later became rental opportunities. Jim operated Kull Machining, selling lathe plates to Grizzly Tools and to lathe enthusiasts all over the globe.  He enjoyed refurbishing large machinery and Triumph Sport’s Cars (TR-3s).  He was skilled at designing and crafting in both metal and wood.  He would often surprise the grandchildren with special gifts in both.

Jim and Toni loved traveling.  First adventures were three driving trips to Alaska, then trips throughout most of the United States, Canada, and 35 countries overseas. Besides the scenic memories, new friendships were developed.

Jim is a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Litchfield.  In past years he sang in the church choir.  He served two terms on the Zion Lutheran School Board.  Jim was also a charter member of Hillsboro Sertoma.

In addition to his wife of 52 years, Jim is survived by son, David Kull (wife Jill) of Davenport, Iowa, daughters Kim Fanelli (husband Rich) of Mattoon, IL, and Susan Shelton (husband Tom) of Litchfield; seven grandchildren, Tyler Kull, Collin Kull, Conner Kull, Vince Fanelli, Nick Fanelli, Abby Shelton, and Grant Shelton; one sister Arlene (Kull) Quast of Valdosta, GA.

Memorials may be made to Zion Lutheran Church or Hillsboro Public Library.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James P. Kull, please visit our floral store.


Private Service

Grace Cemetery
Strasburg, IL 62465


Zion Lutheran Church
1301 N. State St., Litchfield IL 62056

Hillsboro Public Library
214 School Street, Hillsboro IL 62049

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