James Paul “Jimmy” Graziano, age 58, of Elverta, CA, and formerly of Crystal Lake, IL, and Cary, IL, passed away at home on Tuesday, November 9, 2021, following a brief battle with brain cancer (glioblastoma).
Born March 12, 1963, in Chicago, IL, he was the son of James M. and Priscilla (Coleman) Graziano. He was raised in Cary, IL, and graduated from Marmion Military Academy in Aurora, IL, in 1981. He attended St. Norbert College in DePere, WI, and graduated from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL, in 1986, with a degree in psychology.
He married the former Jennifer Paine at the Old McHenry County Courthouse in Woodstock, IL, just minutes into the new year on Jan. 1, 1994. In doing so, he became the stepfather to Cassidy Mara. The three began their life together in Crystal Lake, IL, where they lived for several years before the couple moved to the warmer climate of Elverta, CA. Cassidy soon followed them west.
He worked for the past 16 years as a federal officer at the Department of Homeland Security, first at O’Hare International Airport and most recently at Sacramento International Airport. Formerly, he was a dispatch superintendent with the Illinois Department of Transportation from December 1986 until October 2005.
Jimmy was a do-it-yourselfer, spending countless hours remodeling and renovating the interior and exterior of the homes he shared with Jennifer throughout their married life. An avid audiophile and discophile, his record album collection at times numbered in the thousands. He was also an enthusiastic video gamer and had a deep love for books and reading.
James is survived by his devoted wife, Jennifer, of Elverta, CA.; his daughter, Cassidy Mara (Josh) Wennesheimer; grandchildren Dominic, Drayk, Kaleb, and Xander, all at home, who lovingly called him “YoYo;” his parents, James M. Graziano and Priscilla Graziano of Cary, IL; his brother, Patrick (Robyn) Graziano of Minooka, IL; nephews Spencer Graziano and Dylan Graziano of Minooka, IL; his aunt, J. Colleen (the late Raymond) Cauwels of Crystal Lake, IL; in-laws Robert and Carolyn Paine; sister-in-law Rebecca Paine; niece Veronica Paine; and several cousins.
He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, James and Josephine Coleman; and paternal grandparents, Anthony and Irene Graziano.
The family has chosen to donate James’ brain for scientific research. His body will be cremated.
A celebration of life will be planned for a later date at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Cary, IL.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the National Brain Tumor Society, St, Jude Children’s Research Hospital, or to a charity of the donor’s choice would be appreciated.