US Army


James E. Heard

July 19, 1958 ~ June 20, 2018 (age 59)

James E. Heard, 59, of Rock Island, passed away Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at Presence-St. Joseph Hospital in Joliet. Funeral services for James will be 10:00am on Saturday, July 7th at Olivet Baptist Church, Rock Island.  Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, July 6th at the Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory, 3030 7th Ave., Rock Island.  Burial will be in Chippiannock Cemetery, Rock Island.  Memorials may be made to the family in care of Courtney Heard.


On July 19, 1958 the small town of Homer, Louisiana became the birth place of a very special soul. On that day Elmer and Vera Lee (Gillis) Heard were blessed with a son who they named James. James grew from a gifted young boy to a man of many talents. James was a person who could seamlessly walk in and out of any circle despite any adopted barriers like color or creed. During his walk on this Earth, James impacted many but was not invincible to being impacted himself. On August 13, 1990 James married Merry Williamson and although they later divorced; James got to experience the substantial essence of partnership during his time here on earth. James was also a jack of all trades. Early in his life he worked as an auto mechanic. James was good at anything that he touched; yard work, building things, motorcycles, and even barbeques. If that was not already enough, James also proudly served his country in the United States Armed Forces. James was a man of many talents, gifts, and skills but what was most important to him was family. James understood what family meant. Because of his relationship with God and knowledge of the word, James used letters fused with scripture to convey his love for his family which solidified the relationship with his children. James wore many hats, but no one could say that he wore the hat of a “bad man”. James was a blessing to the world and to his family and anyone he came into contact with. Remembering him any other way, simply put: it wouldn’t be justified.


Left to cherish James’ memory are his children, Kenny Williamson (step son), Rockford; Courtney Heard, Machesney Park; Ebony (Jermaine) Coleman, Rockford and Brandy Heard, Cape Coral, FL; 12 grandchildren; and sisters, Martha Salazar, Moline; Gloria Haymon, Rock Island; Helen (Melvin) Lambert, Rock Island; Cynthia Lewis, Blue Grass; Domila “Nicki” (Jason) Jones, Milan; he is also survived by many other loving family members and friends.


He is preceded in death by his; grandparents, parents, his two sisters, and brother; Mary and Shirley Heard and Elmer Heard, Jr..

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