Fr. James Wynne OMI

Print Obituary
Rev. James J. Wynne III, OMI, 92, died on August 19, 2018, at the Dammert Care Center of The Esquiline (Apartment Community) at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville, Illinois.

Fr. Wynne was born in 1926 to the late James J. and Gertrude (Murray) Wynne, Jr., in Providence, Rhode Island. He proudly served in the United States Air Force. While stationed at Scott AFB in Illinois, he decided that he wanted to become a flying missionary in the Arctic. He contacted the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate who are known for their work among the Inuit and First Nation Peoples in Northern Canada and began his training for the priesthood at St. Henry’s Seminary in Belleville, IL. In 1948, he entered the Oblate Novitiate in Godfrey, IL, where, a year later, he pronounced his first vows as an Oblate. He completed his studies for the priesthood at De Mazenod Scholasticate in San Antonio, TX, and at Our Lady of the Snows Scholasticate in Pass Christian, MS, where he was ordained a priest in 1955.

His desire to serve as a missionary in a far-off land was realized when he was assigned as a young priest to the Philippines where he served from 1956-61. From 1961-1980, he traveled throughout the United States to at least 500 parishes to raise funds for the Philippine Missions. After a sabbatical, he became pastor at St. Columban’s Parish in Little Fork, MN (1982-88) and in Hay River, NWT, Canada (1988-98). He served as chaplain at the Apartment Community, Belleville, IL (1998-2000) and helped in various parishes in the Archdiocese of Anchorage, AK (2001-02). Upon his retirement from full-time ministry, he moved in 2002 to St. Henry’s Oblate Residence in Belleville, and in 2013, he moved to the Apartment Community (now called The Esquiline) at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Raymond. Survivors include his brothers Clinton (Rosemary) of Hernando, FL; and Kenneth (Ann) of Midlothian, VA.

In lieu of flowers, donations for the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (9480 North DeMazenod Drive, Belleville, IL 62223) would be greatly appreciated. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at


Visitation:  Friends may pay their respects from 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, August 22, 2018, at the Chapel of The Esquiline Apartment Community at Our Lady of the Snows Shrine, Belleville, IL.

Funeral: A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, August 22, 2018, at the The Esquiline Apartment Community Chapel at Our Lady of the Snows Shrine, Belleville, IL.

Burial will take place on Saturday, August 25, near his family of origin at St. Francis Cemetery, Pawtucket, RI.


5 Comments on Fr. James Wynne OMI

Joan Herron said : Guest Report Feb 16, 2019 at 7:49 PM

We were the same age. I will miss his visits to Boca Raton. Loved his stories and saying Mass at my dining room table. My prayers. He will be remembered in my prayers. Wish I could have said "Goodbye"

  • Boca Raton
  • Fl.
sandra stanway said : Guest Report Jan 31, 2019 at 1:25 AM

Father Jim ‘Bushcat’ was a great man. I consider myself to have been a friend of his I know he is drinking his ‘bat juice’ on the links with Joe Kelly. RIP my friend.

  • brooks
  • alberta canada
Al and Jessie Dion said : Guest Report Jan 09, 2019 at 12:00 AM

Our Christmas card to Fr Jim was returned today so looked up obits... so we want to send our Sympathy to you all. He was our parish priest in Hay River, Al was on his bowling team! wonderful man and good sense of humor many stories and what a Blessed Life he lead. we were happy to have known him he was always in our prayers and now he is in his Heavenly Home! Thanks for sharing him with us.

  • Shellbrook
  • SK
Stan & Pat Syta said : Guest Report Dec 31, 2018 at 11:17 PM

A returned Christmas card is how we learned of Father's passing. What a cheerful soul to have known years back in Alaska at St. Anthony's and all the next years. May he be glad in Heaven!

  • Parker
  • Colorado
Mike and Cheryl Hancar said : Guest Report Nov 22, 2018 at 10:03 PM

We are so sorry to hear of Father's passing. It is very late but we just learned of his passing. We had many good times together. May he now rest in peace in the Heavenly Father's Arms.

  • Leduc
  • Alberta Canada,

Add Public Condolence

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.