James R. Raben, age 74, lifelong Ridgway resident and farmer passed away this life, March 30, 2023. Jim, as many knew him, was born in Eldorado, IL on November 25, 1948, to the late James. A. and Carrie (Morris) Raben. He was married to the love of his life Marilyn (Wathen) Raben on August 22, 1975.
Jim graduated from Ridgway High School, then furthered his education at SIU Carbondale where he obtained a master's degree in agriculture. He taught for a short time, but his passion for farming brought him to work and expand the family farm. His love for farming was his life, He was a dedicated worker who put in many hours every day to make sure the family farm was always running smoothly. Over the years, as his sons became involved in the farm, it made him so proud to work daily with them. His knowledge and vision of the farming industry got him involved in many organizations all over the world. Jim has been unwavering in his commitment to US farmers serving as Chairman of Illinois Corn Marketing Board and U.S. Grains council. He has traveled the Globe to markets in Vietnam, Myanmar, Panama, Tunisia, Cuba and South Africa to ensure trade routes were never close. Locally Jim was involved on the School Board, Gallatin County Farm Bureau, Ag in the Classroom, FFA Alumni, a member of the St. Kateri Catholic Church and a Fourth degree Sir Knight. Always making a difference in anything he was involved in. A good community member. But with all of his accomplishments and accolades, he was most proud of his wife and family. A good husband, father, grandfather and will be missed in Gallatin County.
Jim is survived by his wife, Marilyn, 2 sons, Matthew (Sarah) Raben, Joseph Raben, 2 daughters, Christina (Jeff) Scates and Jordan (Adam) Robinson. His loving grandchildren, Drew and Wyatt Scates, Shelbi, Olivia, Eliana, Gryffin, Theron, Jaxston, Dominque Raben. Troy and Trevor Robinson. Many friends and acquaintances from all of the world and many cousins.
Visitation for Jim will be Tuesday, April 4, 2023, from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Cox & Son Funeral Home in Ridgway. His funeral mass will be on Wednesday, April 5, 2023, at the St. Kateri Catholic Church in Ridgway starting at 11:00 AM. Fr. Vincent Mukosa and Monsignor Joe Lawler will celebrate mass. He will then be laid to rest in the St. Joseph Cemetery near Equality.
Memorial contributions can be made in his memory to the Cleveland Clinic Heart and Stem Cell Research. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.