At a very early age Jim began to exhibit the baffling and pervasive manifestations of what would later be diagnosed as autism. The search for answers would come to shape all our lives in many ways. Throughout it all, when not bedeviled by the sometimes-frightening symptoms of this disorder, he displayed a sweet and gentle nature, often playful and always uncomplaining. Jimmy asked for very little from a life that seemed at times to conspire to deny him even that. In his later years, as chronic physical illness began to eclipse the autism symptoms, he developed a kind of serenity that allowed him to welcome and take pleasure in many more relationships and experiences, among them, going to the movies, getting dressed up, attending Badger Camp in summer, his every-three-weeks date for dinner out with his family, celebrations of Christmas and other holidays throughout the year, chocolate cake, and a brandy Manhattan.
Jimmy leaves to cherish his memory his sister, Ann Allen, and her husband, Jim, of Albany, WI; his niece, Julie Monroe and her husband, Steve, of Brodhead, WI, and their children, Eric and Megan Monroe, of Madison; and his nephew, Tom Allen, of Chicago. Beyond that, he leaves behind a loving extended family of professionals and caregivers from REM Wisconsin, who helped to make his final two decades the very best they could be. The loving care that he received while in Bond Home was magnificent and transforming, and we are extraordinarily grateful to his caregivers who were there for him always, right up to the end. Our thanks, also, to the doctors who cared for Jimmy over the years with great competence, respect and compassion. How reassuring it was to know that he was in such good hands!
A private Memorial Service and family gathering to celebrate Jimmy's life will be held with Msgr. Ray Kertz officiating. Burial will be at Mount Olivet Cemetery, Janesville. Hansen Funeral Home, Janesville, 608-752-8800, is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.hansenfh.com
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