James Wallace Flannigan III

February 8, 1922 ~ July 8, 2020 (age 98)


James Wallace Flannigan the 3rd, age 98 years, 5 months, passed away peacefully on July 8th, 2020 at Hamilton Memorial Hospital, McLeansboro, IL.

Wallace was born in Franklin County on February 8th, 1922, the fourth of five siblings.  His parents were Samuel Tallmadge Flannigan and Dora Mae (Johnson) Flannigan.  He married Laura Belle Smith on Sept. 27th, 1947.  They were married 67 years; together they had three children, Rex, Rocke and Debra.

Wallace joined the Army in 1942 and trained and worked as a cook stateside. He chose to go overseas and served in France and the Rhineland as a Military Police during World War II.  He rode the rails protecting the supplies being shipped to the front lines.

Wallace lost his father in the Great Tornado of 1925 at the young age of 3.  As the oldest boy in the family, without his father, he had many responsibilities.  As a boy of 17 he joined the Civil Conservation Corp. and worked in Northern Illinois.  He kept $5.00 of his earnings sending the rest to his Mother.  James worked in the oil field as a Driller in the majority of states east of the Rockies.  He finished his career as an oil field drilling consultant.  He also worked in Saudi Arabia one year.  

The education he received in Flannigan Township served him well, and geography was a special area of interest.  Regardless of where he traveled, he could and would share the best route and what rivers were being crossed.  He knew the best way to get to just about anywhere.  He enjoyed people, loved telling stories of long ago experiences and was very witty.  He loved horses and often shared stories of his childhood horse George, tricks he could perform, and how he earned the money to purchase him. 

Wallace was a lifelong member of the Fraternal Order of Masons, American Legion Post 106, and an enthusiastic contributor to the Shriner’s hospitals. 

Wallace lived a full life, he loved his family and extended family, loved to tell stories, play cards, and watch horse races. He felt if anything was worth doing, it was worth doing right and was a stickler for a job well done. He will be sadly missed by family and all who knew him.  

Wallace is survived by daughter, Debbie Stratton, and husband Gary, of Dahlgren, IL, granddaughters Beth Tidball, and husband Chad Ahren, of Indianapolis, IN, Brooke Tidball, of St. Louis, MO, four great grandchildren, Dylan and Miles Patterson, Avery and Lorelei Ahren, brother-in-law Walter Smith of Billings, MT, brother-in-law Robert (Celia) Smith of Laredo, TX, sister-in-law Betty Hardt of Mt. Vernon, MO, and many nieces (each one his favorite) nephews, great nieces and nephews.

Wallace was preceded in death by his parents, wife Laura Belle, sons Rex D. and Rocke D. Flannigan, his siblings Ersel Cluck, Geraldine (Dean) Pritchett, Vonda Lee Cobb, and Wayne (Joan) Flannigan.

The funeral service will be held at the McLeansboro Reservoir Pavilion, Sat. July 18th at 10:30 AM, McLeansboro, IL.  Pastor Denise Burke of Salem Presbyterian Church will be officiating.  Burial will follow the funeral at Glenview Garden of Memory.  Funeral arrangements are being handled by Gholson Funeral Home.  Social distancing will be observed, masks will be available. 

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be given to the Shriners Hospital for Children, 4400 Clayton Ave., St. Louis, MO

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Wallace Flannigan III, please visit our floral store.


Funeral Service
July 18, 2020

10:30 AM
McLeansboro Reservoir Pavilion
109 Parkway Rd.
McLeansboro, IL 62859

Interment following funeral service
July 18, 2020

Glenview Garden of Memory
State Route 142
McLeansboro, IL 62859

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