James McHaney

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James Marion McHaney, 75, of Belleville, IL, passed away on Wednesday, January 24, 2018, at Evelyn’s Hospice House in Creve Coeur, MO.  He was born September 18, 1942, in West Frankfort, IL, to James and Marilea McHaney, Jim was united in marriage to Sammy Lou, nee Vowell, McHaney, and celebrated 54 years together.

Jim was a lifelong music educator who spent 31 years of teaching his love of music to hundreds of students.  He retired in 1994 as head of the music department at Belleville East High School.  During his career, he also served as a coach and mentor. Jim enjoyed working with students, particularly at the high school level. Those activities included Treble Choir, Concert Choir, Show Choir, Women’s Basketball, Men’s Golf, and leading and directing countless performances and productions at Belleville East and other community locations.  Jim was a member of Union United Methodist Church in Belleville, and served on various committees, and at one time directed the teen choir.  He enjoyed country line dancing, playing golf and bowling with his many friends whenever he got the chance.  He created many memories in traveling with family and friends throughout the world.  However, he particularly loved visiting with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, James M. and Marilea, nee Taylor, McHaney; and a brother, Joe David McHaney.

Surviving are his wife, Sammy;
three children, Janet L. (Terry) Rabon of Tulsa, OK, James T. (Cindy) McHaney of Belleville, IL, and Jamie Windler of Nashville, IL;
seven grandchildren, Ashley (Kyle) Green of Tulsa, OK, Erin (Tyler) Smith of Tulsa, OK, Kelley (Jon) Land of Tulsa, OK, Jordan McHaney (fiancée, Aaron Jalinsky) of Smithton, IL, Casey McHaney of Belleville, IL, Lindsay Windler and Andrew Windler, both of Nashville, IL;
and 11 great-grandchildren in Tulsa, OK.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Belleville East Music Department or to Union United Methodist Church.  Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.

Visitation:  Friends may visit with the family from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, January 26, 2018, at Union United Methodist Church, Belleville, IL.

Funeral:  Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, January 27, 2018, at Union United Methodist Church, Belleville, IL, with Rev. Ed Weston officiating.

Burial will be in Green Mount Protestant Cemetery, Belleville, IL.


17 Comments on James McHaney

Dawn Mank Lance said : Guest Report Jan 28, 2018 at 12:10 AM

Jamie, So sorry to learn about your dad. He was a classic at BTHSE & just a fun & happy guy to be around. I remember how proud he was of you. Sending thoughts & prayers to you & your family.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Dawn Mank Lance said : Guest Report Jan 28, 2018 at 12:05 AM

Jamie, so sorry to learn about your dad. He was an amazing man! He was always so happy & cheerful! I remember how much he loved & was proud of you. Thoughts & prayers with you & your family.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Mike and Ann Farmer said : Guest Report Jan 27, 2018 at 11:43 PM

Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of sorrow.

  • Fredonia
  • KY
Mark/Karen Lobstein said : Guest Report Jan 27, 2018 at 9:33 PM

Our thoughts and prayers are with you Jim and family. Your Dad was an awesome inspiration to so many. Hugs....

  • Gainesville
  • Georgia
Bill Lawrence said : Guest Report Jan 27, 2018 at 4:10 AM

Condolences from the entire Lawrence family. Jim's Mom, Marilea, and my Mom, Jane Lawrence were best of friends and were very active in Central Methodist in West Frankfort. We moved away after my 7th grade and I more or less lost touch with the family, but still heard a lot from my Mom. She and Marilea were in the same hospital and I think shared the same room when Jim and I were born. Our prayers and condolences go out to you all. Bill Lawrence

  • Fairview Heights
  • IL
Bill Lawrence said : Guest Report Jan 27, 2018 at 3:58 AM

Jim's mother and my Mom were best friends and were very active in the Central Methodist Church in West Frankfort. They were both in the hospital at the same time when Jim and I were born (I was born on the 14th and he was the 18th). I left West Frankfort after the 7th grade and had lost touch with the family. I wish we could have re-established contact. On behalf of the Lawrence family, our condolences and prayers go out to you all.

  • Fairview Heights
  • IL
Stacy (Raab) Rhault said : Guest Report Jan 26, 2018 at 7:05 PM

I graduated from BTHSE in 1991. I was in Concert Choir and Treble Choir. Mr. McHaney was my most memorable mentors in high school. I can remember talking with him countless hours about high school drama and receiving some of the best advice. He was caring, funny, inspiring and had one of the best smiles in the world!

  • mcdonough
  • georgia
Becky Kern-Taylor said : Guest Report Jan 26, 2018 at 3:45 PM

To the entire McHaney family, my sincere condolences to you all. Jim was an inspiration to many, many people and will be missed. Love Becky Kern-Taylor

  • Belleville
  • Il.
Margery Handy said : Guest Report Jan 26, 2018 at 4:38 AM

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Jim. Mr. McHaney inspired me to sing and share my gift with others. I have never stopped singing because of his caring heart and guidance. He was an inspiration to all who knew him.

  • IL
TONI OBERMEIER SPILOTRO said : Guest Report Jan 25, 2018 at 11:23 PM

My deepest sympathies are expressed to the family of Mr. McHaney. He was my choir teacher from 1984 until 1988. I still sing along to many songs on the radio that we learned back then. I have very fond memories of him and admire and respect him to this day as a role model and mentor to young lives. He made his mark on this world in many ways and will be missed. I feel blessed to have known him.

  • Tampa
  • Fl
Debbie Castle (Ciardi) said : Guest Report Jan 25, 2018 at 11:11 PM

My heartfelt condolence to Mrs. McHaney and your children. I was in Treble Choir at BTHSE with Mr. McHaney. He was a Tremendous teacher and mentor; and made choir the most FUN Memory of high school! I and many former students will remember him always! So Blessed to have known him in Life and shared the gift of Music.

  • Norman
  • Oklahoma
Shannon McCullough-Pawlak said : Guest Report Jan 25, 2018 at 7:04 PM

My deepest sympathy to the entire McHaney family at the passing of Jr. McHaney. I had Mrs. McHaney as my 5th grade teacher at Ellis, I had James as a substitute at Emge and of course Mr. McHaney as my choir teacher in High School. The imprint that your entire family had on my life is irreplaceable. You all will always hold a very special place in my heart. As I am now a professional musician I often hear Mr. McHaney's words ringing in my ears, "Right or wrong, sing it strong". I always endeavor to be the best I can be and to make him proud. Much love and sympathy to all of you! Shannon McCullough-Pawlak

  • Orlando
  • FL
Tracy Ford maiden name - Hamilton said : Guest Report Jan 25, 2018 at 5:03 PM

Mr. McHaney was my favorite teacher at East. He was a terrific person and treated his students very well. Heaven has received another angel. RIP, Mr. McHaney.

  • Jacksonville
  • FL
Dennis Rueter said : Guest Report Jan 25, 2018 at 4:52 PM

Thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of mourning. Mr. McHaney was a good man. I always appreciated his friendly and pleasant demeanor when I was fortunate enough to run into him after my high school days.

  • Columbia
  • illinois
Pamela Warren said : Guest Report Jan 25, 2018 at 4:17 PM

My condolences to the family. I graduated BTHSE in 1970. I have fond memories of Mr. McHaney. He was a wonderful teacher.

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Andy Cook said : Guest Report Jan 25, 2018 at 2:51 PM

I was in Swing Choir and Concert Choir 1980-82. Mr. McHaney was a true Renaissance man and a great mentor. I can't tell you how many hours we all hung out in his office and choir room. I will miss him.

  • New york
  • NY
Jennifer Jacknewitz said : Guest Report Jan 25, 2018 at 3:06 AM

Jim and family, My deepest sympathy to you at this time.

  • Belleville
  • IL

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