James “Jim” Testin, 92, passed away peacefully at The Springs in Naperville on Sunday, February 26, 2023.
Jim was born the youngest of five children to Edythe and Henry Testin in Elmhurst, IL on January 1, 1931. Jim and his four older siblings grew up on Hillside Avenue in Glen Ellyn. Their education took place at St. Petronille School and Glenbard West High School, both of which would later become his very own children’s schools. For college, Jim chose Loyola University in Chicago. It was there that he met his sweetheart, Rita McKay, in Zoology 101. Rita received her teaching degree and Jim an accounting degree. After graduating in 1952 and before starting his career, Jim enlisted for two years in the Air Force, He did pilot training at Spence Air Force Base in Georgia.
Rita and Jim were married April 24, 1954 and made their home first in Chicago and later, none other than Glen Ellyn. St. Petronille Catholic Church would become an integral foundation of Testin family life for decades to come. Jim and Rita would pass on their strong faith and belief to each of their children instilling the humility, decency, integrity and dignity that defined their character and deepest love for one another.
Providing for family over the years, Jim put his amazing number skills to work by day as a CPA first at Arthur Andersen, next Jewel Tea, and lastly Marsh McLennan. However, top priority always remained nights and weekends filled with the raising of their eight children. Three daughters and five sons kept Jim and Rita very busy. Take mealtime, a punctual mandate where family gathered around their round table with spinning lazy susan in the center invented by Dad, to share the joys and challenges of life. Dessert was celebrated by Jim “for its great nutritional value”. A lifetime precedent was established. Mealtime was a magical place to gather and celebrate family. If you stopped by 318 Merton on a Saturday, you’d probably see Jim and one of his sons in the garage under a car working on repairing one of their cars. He was a talented mechanic and loved to teach others. You might also find him in his basement workshop working on yet another project. He took great joy helping each of his eight children with their own home projects, as he had a passion for tinkering. As he worked, he was often heard saying, “That’s the undo refinement of the relatively insignificant.” His clever bride often by his side; the talented duo were masterful in researching, fixing and building most anything they encountered. The “workers” enjoyed the wealth accrued from their countless hours of labor; jokingly agreeing to $1 per hour for their joint effort.
Jim enjoyed spending time with his eight children and their families. Cedar Knob Resort on Kentucky Lake was a beloved summer vacation for almost 50 years for the Testin clan. All of his 21 grandchildren enjoyed a week there at one time or another over the years. They will have Grandpa memories for years to come.
In 2015, after 54 years of living at 318 Merton in Glen Ellyn, Jim and Rita made the decision to move to Monarch Landing in Naperville. They had raised their eight children, attended all their weddings, welcomed 21 grandchildren to the world, and modeled the essence of a loving marriage. It was their time to start a new chapter in their life. The loving couple were able to enjoy over seven years in their new home together, openly welcoming family visits to celebrate in the community they came to love and support.
Jim was a devoted husband to Rita for over 68 years, an amazing father to eight children and their spouses and a loving grandpa/great grandpa to 21 grandchildren and 4 great grandsons. He will be sorely missed by so many, but his gentle spirit never forgotten.
He is survived by his wife, Rita, his eight children Margie Brown (Jim), Diane Knaggs (Tom), Bill Testin (Judy), Elaine Dlabal (Ed), David Testin (Theresa), Alan Testin (Julie), Roger Testin (Pam), and Mark Testin (Sue). Also his 21 beloved grandchildren include Rachel, Mercy, Ana, Chris, Ryan, Lauren (Matt), Andrea, Bradford, Conrad, Josh, Jeremy (Dannie), Nick, Lucas, Kyle, Tyler, Melina, Emily, Katie, Molly, Abbey and Dan. Lastly, his four precious great grandchildren are Gavyn, Ollie, Shane and Jay. He is preceded in death by his parents, his brother Bob and his sisters Jane, Eileen and Eleanor.
A funeral Mass will be held at St. Petronille Catholic Church in Glen Ellyn on Saturday, March 4, 2023 at 11:30 AM. Interment will be at St. Michael’s Cemetery on Warrenville Road in Wheaton following the Mass.
In lieu of flowers, Mass cards would be appreciated.