CHARLESTON, IL – James Vincent Zeman, age 80 of Charleston, passed away on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 while at the Odd Fellow-Rebekah Home in Mattoon.
Jim was born April 4, 1939 in Chadron, Nebraska, a son of the late Joseph John and Ella Blanch (Vincent) Zeman. He attended kindergarten through twelfth grade in Chadron Public Schools. He received a BS degree in Speech and English from Chadron State College in Nebraska and completed an MA in Speech Communication from the University of Nebraska. He completed his PhD in Speech Communication from Pennsylvania State University.
Jim was a Speech and English teacher for one year at Chadron High School, and taught Speech and Forensic activities at Lead, South Dakota High School for six years. He then taught a year at Chadron State College before accepting a position at Northern State University in South Dakota where he taught Speech and Forensic activities for thirty-four years.
As an educator, Jim was active in several education associations. He served a term as president of the Lead, South Dakota Board of Education, two terms as president of the Northern State South Dakota University Council on High Education (COHE), three terms as state president of COHE, three terms on the South Dakota Education Association (SDEA) Board of Directors, and two terms as SDEA vice-president.
Jim is survived by his daughter, Patricia Zeman-Johnson and her husband James Andrew Johnson and grandchildren, James Branden Zeman-Johnson and Allison Mariah Zeman-Johnson, all of Decatur, Alabama; sisters, Leora Kennedy of Riverton Wyoming and Joella Woolery of Bellvue, Nebraska; and numerous nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a brother, Robert Zeman.
Jim is also survived by members of Carol Lynch’s immediate family who made him part of their lives and family from the start of Jim and Carol’s thirty-four year relationship and following her death. They include brother, James Anthony “Tony” Redden of Beaverton, Oregon, sister, Alma Lou “Mlou” Thompson of Portland, Oregon, daughters, Jean (James “Dart”) Davis of Hoquiam, Washington, Catherine “Cat” (Harry) Silvester of Victoria British Columbia, Laurie Lynch of Astoria, Oregon, and Amy Lynch (Doug Klarup) of Charleston, Illinois; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
To honor Jim’s wishes, there will be no services locally and his cremated body will be laid to rest in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Memorials in his honor may be made to a charity of the donor’s preference and mailed in care of Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Drive, Charleston, IL 61920.
“Death is not extinguishing the light, it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.”
To send flowers to James' family, please visit our floral section.