James Michael Willms

Profile Updated: March 18, 2018
Residing In: Palos Park, IL USA
Spouse/Partner: Marion Willms
Children: Amanda Van Uden born 1975
J Kyle Willms born 1978
Abby Willms Born 1979
Occupation/Career: School Teacher-13 yrs/School Principal 27 Yrs
Did you graduate from York or Willowbrook?


What grade school did you attend?

Yorkfield School

Name For Your Name Tag:


Name For Guest's Name Tag:


Mobile Phone:


Current Marital Status:



"Pippa" Van Uden Born 2008
"Indi" Van Uden Born 2011
Lila J Howard-Willms Born 2012 (Twin)
Pia Kay Howard-Willms Born 2012 (Twin)
Kyle J Willms--Born 2016

Favorite High School Memory:

Being a member of the 1960 state baseball championship team. I was not much of a factor, but Don Alusic (aka "Sickness", Jim Long (aka "Snowball") and I were the only seniors on the team. We were the "Cinderella" of the tournament and those nine consecutive wins are forever burned in my memory.

My great "romance" with Candy Burton.

Being a member of the 1959 and 1960 Duke basketball teams.

Current Interests:

I am retired (2003) after 40 years dedicated to education. I continue to administrate the South Suburban Junior High School conference as its commissioner and my last connection to education.

I spend six months a year in Florida (Tampa) and the other six months in Bend, Oregon, having sold in Illinois summer 2017 after 45 years in the same house. I play golf (poorly) throughout the year. I also ride bicycles a lot as the last vestige to anything athletic, which used to consume most of my time.

I enjoy spending time traveling with my wife of 47 years to visit our children who live in The Netherlands, Oregon, and Texas respectively. I am also heavily into cruises.

Middle Name or Initial:


Most Memorable Experience Since High School:

Coaching nine South Suburban Conference champions in thirteen years in basketball 1965 - 1977

Having the opportunity to watch all three of my children be quite successful in high school and college athletics.

Refereeing over 5500 basketball games over now 53 years with the IHSA including grade school, high school and college games.

One Thing I Have Done Since High School That Would Surprise My Classmates:

That I was actually a reasonably successful and contributing educator who hopefully motivated hundreds of kids over 40 years in Palos Heights, Illinois.

Things That I Haven’t Done as of 2011, But Would Still Like To Do. Record when you do them plus comments.

See the annual Rose Parade and Rose Bowl.

Other Comments:

I am gratified by having made contact with some "old" friends that I have not seen over the 50 long years through this site. Where has the time gone?

Among them have been Helen Krause, Johnny Coughlan with whom I spent countless hours on numerous basketball courts, Don (aka "Sickness") who brings back memories of many ball fields, Bill Wendt, who assures me that he still cannot dunk, and Jim (aka Snowball") from the state championship days as well as well as basketball.

I lament the premature passing of Ron Rau and Wayne Gianneschi who were among the greats of their time and serious friends. I can only hope that I can live long enough to make it to September 18.

James Michael's Latest Interactions

Hide Comments
Mar 31, 2019 at 3:33 AM
Mar 31, 2018 at 3:33 AM
Mar 18, 2018 at 2:57 PM
James Michael Willms added a comment on Profile.
Mar 13, 2018 at 1:03 PM
James Michael Willms has left an In Memory comment for Profile.
Oct 21, 2017 at 3:33 PM

?Donny aka. "Sickness" (for all his real or imagined injuries over the years) was a kind, decent, positive human being who, I am proud to say was a good friend. From the time we pitched and played together in little league at East End Park through the state championship year in 1960 (he was much better than I was) culminating with the last two reunions, he was always a consistent and strong leader.  His loss is a shock and he leaves an undeniable mark on all of us in the class of 1960.

Mar 31, 2017 at 3:33 AM
Mar 31, 2016 at 3:33 AM
James Michael Willms added a comment on Profile.
Dec 05, 2015 at 7:31 PM
James Michael Willms added a photo to profile gallery. New comment added.
Aug 31, 2015 at 7:44 AM

Posted on: Aug 30, 2015 at 11:01 AM

Jun 29, 2014 at 11:47 AM

'Snowball"-----Great to be alive all these 72 years. Would be nice to have you make the next reunion in 2015 if we can both manage to live that long. Had a great luncheon for the basketball players at the 50th arranged by Johnny Coughlan----maybe we can do it again.
J. Willms

James Michael Willms added a comment on Profile.
Feb 27, 2014 at 10:35 AM
Hide Comments
Posted: Aug 30, 2015 at 11:01 AM
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:49 PM
Marion, Granddaughter Pips, Jim