AMerican Veteran 11

James D. Schenk

June 27, 1931 ~ November 8, 2020 (age 89)

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James D. Schenk Sr., 89, of Elkhart passed away peacefully at home on the morning of Sunday, November 8, 2020 with his family by his side.


Jim was born June 27, 1931 in Elkhart, IN to the late Clarence H. and Leona Mae (Higley) Schenk.  Also preceding him in death are a son, James D. Schenk II and three sisters: Marie Cullip, Geraldine Murray and Goldie Holdread.


On April 24, 1954 he married the love of his life, Kathryn J. Dilorenzo in Elkhart.  They celebrated 66 years of happiness together.  She survives along with their children: Cindy Schenk, Mitch Schenk and David (Camie) Schenk, all of Elkhart; twelve grandchildren and fifteen great grandchildren.  Also surviving are three brothers: Raymond L. Schenk of Goshen, Marvin C. Schenk of Florida and Homer A. Schenk of Elkhart.


Jim served in the Korean war as a paratrooper, earning 2 purple hearts and a bronze star. After returning from the war, he began working at CTS. Once leaving that job in the mid – 70’s he swore to be his own boss and started the groundwork to begin Plastic Crafts, his first plastics business. After selling Plastic Crafts Jim decided to retire, but for those who know Jim, know there was no idle time.  Shortly after “retirement”, Jim began another business with his son Mitch, called Plastic Form. Shortly after starting Plasticform, he brought his other two sons into the business. That business ran successfully for another 12 years before selling in 1998

Jim was an aircraft enthusiast and avid pilot, taking part in Angel flight whenever possible. He was also a member of the Tyrian Lodge #718 F.& A. M. and a 32nd degree mason, Scottish Rite Chapter. Jim was a skilled woodworker and gardener who grew awesome tomatoes. Jim enjoyed fine cigars and a good whiskey when the workday was done. Over the years he has touched so many people in so many ways. He was a true family man and even in death he will always be our hero.   

Private family services will be held at the Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home where a masonic service will be held.  The family would like to invite those that are able to attend to join them for military honors at the Chapel of the Good Sheppard mausoleum at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in Osceola, IN.  These honors will be held on Friday at 3:00 p.m. at the cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Center for Hospice Care 501 Comfort Place Mishawaka, IN 46545 or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital 501 St. Jude Place Memphis, TN 38105-9959.

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You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of James D. Schenk


St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105
Tel: 1-800-805-5856

Center for Hospice
501 Comfort Place, Mishawaka IN 46545

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