American Veteran 01


James M. Pauwels

October 25, 1941 ~ March 7, 2019 (age 77)
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James M. Pauwels, 77 of Rock Island, died Thursday, March 7, 2019 at the Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House,  Bettendorf.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 am on Thursday at St. Ambrose Catholic Church, Milan. Visitation is 4 to 7 pm on Wednesday at the Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory, 201 E. 4th Ave., Milan, where a rosary will be recited at 3:30 pm. Burial is at the National Cemetery, Arsenal Island, where military honors will be presented by the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 299. Memorials may be made to St. Ambrose Catholic Church.

Jim was born on Oct. 25, 1941 in Moline, a son of Albert and Anna DeMeyer Pauwels. He married Jane L. Knebel on July 11, 1964, in Riverside, Iowa. She died Dec. 16, 2018.

He graduated from Alleman High School in 1959 and retired from the Rock Island Post Office, where he was a letter carrier. In earlier years he had worked for Deere & Company.

He was a Navy veteran of the Cuban missile crisis while stationed at the Naval Air Base, in Pensacola, Florida, home of the Blue Angels. Jim was a member of St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Milan, the Knights of Columbus and the National Association of Letter Carriers. He coached Milan Girls Softball and enjoyed deer hunting and camping. Jim had a passion for life and had the biggest heart in the world. It was important to him that his children received a Catholic education.

Jim is survived by his children, Julie [Dave] VanderGinst, Jean VanderGinst, and Jeff Pauwels; grandchildren, Taylor, Bailey, and Chase VanderGinst, Sydney and Samantha Pauwels; and his brother, Edward (Kathleen) Pauwels. He was preceded in death by his wife and parents.

Online condolences may be left at

Donations may be made to:

St. Ambrose Catholic Church
312 West 1st Street, Milan IL 61264
Tel: 1-309-787-4593

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