James Douglas Burnett was born on March 29, 1953 to Lowell and Virginia Jackson Burnett of Hinckley. Jim grew up on the family farm north of Hinckley, the same farm his daughter now resides on. As a farm kid he knew the value of hard work and the love of caring for livestock and crops.
As a youth he was an active member of 4-H and FFA. He held offices including Hinckley-Big Rock FFA Sentinel and one of his greatest accomplishments was being awarded Grand Champion Barrow at the Illinois State Fair in 1970.
Jim married Christine Kay Nehring on April 5, 1980 and they spent the next 40 years together side by side.
While always a grain farmer he taught many how to farm and valued the friendships of many employees that became like family over the years. He took great pride in planting straight rows long before GPS was an option. An innovator in the farming world he was often the first to try a new type of equipment.
Jimmy returned to his love of raising and showing hogs when his daughters got old enough to be involved. They showed purebred pigs including Hamps, Durocs, Yorks, and Landrace throughout the Midwest bringing home many ribbons and trophies. Hog shows created lasting friendships and endless stories of time at the fairs.
His daughters worked by his side while they grew up on the farm. They learned how to work hard, fix farm equipment and drive just about anything. He always said “I won’t always be around to help you so you need to learn these things.” Now that time has come and we realize those lessons were so valuable, as he would also say “You can’t get this out of a book.” To Jim’s relief both girls married farm boys and now have them to fix things.
Jim was an active member of the Hinckley Lion’s Club since the 80’s. He served in many capacities including as President from 1999-2001. He also served on the scholarship committee and was extremely proud of his perfect meeting attendance until his health prevented him from attending every meeting. Jim was also a member of the Hinckley United Methodist Church having been baptized, confirmed and married there.
He was a collector of tractors and loved his family and farming. Since 2011 his favorite past time has been watching his grandkids play and gather for family holidays!
Jim is survived by his loving wife and caretaker, Chrissy and daughters Brenna (Andrew) Hildenbrand of Thawville and Shannon (Nathan) Fatland of Hinckley. He is also survived by six grandchildren who thought their Grandpa Jim was the best: Kinze Irene Fatland, Emmaline Elizabeth Hildenbrand, Hollyn Christine Fatland, Eleanora Caroline Hildenbrand, Lane Burnett Hildenbrand and Natalie James Fatland. Also, surviving is his beloved mother, Virginia (Don Swanson) Burnett of DeKalb, brother Gene (Pam) Burnett of Pontiac, aunts, uncles and cousins. Jimmy is also survived by a countryside of friends and fellow farmers including Bryan Carey who had helped on the farm, working for Jim for many years. He is preceded in death by his father, Lolly Burnett and father and mother-in-law Clark and Irene Nehring,
Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, July 3, 2020 at the Nash-Nelson Memorial Chapel, 141 N. Maple St., Hinckley, IL. Interment will follow in the Miller Cemetery in Hinckley, IL.
Family and friends may visit from 9:00 AM until the hour of service on Friday, July 3, 2020 at the Nash-Nelson Memorial Chapel in Hinckley, IL.
Memorials in Jim’s name may be made to the Hinckley Lion’s Club to establish a scholarship for an agriculture student.
A video of the Funeral Service will be available on the Nelson Funeral Homes website after the service.
Arrangements by Nelson Funeral Home & Crematory, www.NelsonFuneralHomes.com or 815-286-3247.