Jan 8th 1986 - Aug 11th 2012
Jamie Padgett was a young man who effortlessly touched people’s hearts. Kind-hearted and genuinely concerned about others, Jamie had a smile for everyone he met. Although Jamie’s life was tragically cut short, he leaves behind him a vast network of friends, family, customers and co-workers, people whose lives were brightened and enriched through knowing Jamie. If we think of our lives as measured, not in years, but in the amount of happiness we bring to others, it becomes clear that Jamie Padgett lived a truly rich and rewarding life.
Jamie was born on January 8, 1986, to proud parents Terry Magruder and Kelli Ward. He lived in Kankakee, Illinois, where he enjoyed all kinds of outdoor activities, especially fishing. Jamie was close to his grandma, and liked hanging out at her house on the river. He also looked forward to the annual Fourth of July celebration at his grandma’s house, which always included lots of fireworks. In school, he excelled at sports, and played on the baseball and basketball teams. Happy, outgoing, and always smiling, Jamie made and kept friends easily.
As Jamie grew into a young man, he continued to be enthusiastic about outdoor sports. He loved camping with his family, and often rode BMX bikes or four-wheelers with his friends. In his free time, Jamie could often be spotted by the river or lake with a fishing pole in hand. He was very family-oriented, and looked forward to the holiday seasons. He especially enjoyed Thanksgiving and Christmas, when all the cousins, nieces and nephews gathered together. Jamie also loved home-cooked meals, and was a big fan of his mom’s and grandma’s special holiday dinners.
Jamie attended Bourbonnais Community High School, from which he graduated in 2004. After finishing school, Jamie chose to serve his country by joining the United States Army. He enlisted in the National Guard, and was assigned to the 4th Platoon, 1st Battalion, 329th Infantry Regiment. Jamie did his basic training at the US Army Airborne School of Fort Benning, Georgia, where he was recognized for achieving the highest physical training score. He was then stationed in Iraq, where in addition to performing his duties competently and responsibly he also won the group’s body building contest. A true patriot, Jamie was proud to serve his country overseas.
When his tour of duty in Iraq concluded, Jamie was thrilled to come home and reunite with his family, especially his son, Haiden Nicholas Pate. He found work at Olive Garden as a server, where he quickly won the hearts of his co-workers. In addition to being an excellent server, Jamie’s light-hearted comments and jokes kept everyone laughing. Jamie was known to occasionally primp in front of the mirror, and he made sure he always looked his best when he was on duty.
Jamie was a great father, and loved spending time with his son. Haiden likes the outdoors just as much as his dad, and the two often spent time together fishing, visiting the zoo, or just hanging out. Jamie was also close to his siblings, three brothers and three sisters: Joshua, Amanda, Heidi, Tyler, Ashton, and Bailey.
In his free time, Jamie liked going to the gym to keep up the physical skills that he had honed in the Army. Energetic and motivated, he was never one to just lie around after work. He was always on the move, from swimming and working out to fishing with his grandfathers. He was willing to sit still, however, if one of his favorite teams – the Minnesota Vikings and the St. Louis Cardinals – had a game on.
Jamie had quite a tattoo collection, which he enjoyed adding to on a regular basis. There was a prominent tattoo across his chest, which read “Si vis pacem parabellum.” This is a Latin quote, which means “if you wish for peace, prepare for war.” This tattoo choice shows both Jamie’s commitment to serving his country, and his hope that through the sacrifices he and his fellow soldiers are making today, a more peaceful world will be created for his son, and for the generations that follow.
Friendly, energetic, and always smiling, Jamie was a loving father, a staunch soldier, an outstanding server, and a true friend. He will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by his many friends and family members.
Jamie Padgett passed away at Hines VA Hospital on August 11, 2012, at the age of twenty-six. His family includes his mother, Kelli (Steve) Ward of Kankakee, IL; his father, Terry Magruder of Kankakee, IL; his step-mother, Missy Niemann of Redbud, IL; his son, Haiden Pate of Manteno, IL; his grandparents, Jim Furrow of Kankakee, IL, and Larry (Christine) Padgett of Bourbonnais, IL; his brothers, Joshua Shed of Beasley, TX, Tyler Magruder of Redbud, IL, and Ashton Ward of Springfield, IL; his sisters, Amanda (Dave) Wetzler of Redbud, IL, Bailey Ward of Springfield, IL, and Heidi (Andrew) Peppin of Ellsworth, SD; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his maternal grandmother, Judith Furrow; and his paternal grandfather, Carl Magruder.
Visitation time for family and friends will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 16, at the Kankakee Chapel of the Schreffler Life Story Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the family wishes. Please visit Jamie’s personal memory page at www.schrefflerfuneralhomes.com, where you can learn more about his life, share a favorite memory or photo, and sign the online guestbook.