Cover photo for James L Means's Obituary
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1945 James 2023

James L Means

December 10, 1945 — March 7, 2023



James Lester Means, 77, of Peoria Illinois, died on March 7, 2023 at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria. Born on December 10, 1945 to the late William and Grace (Miles) Means, he was a machinist at Caterpillar Tractor for over 30 years. 

James was a proud member of the UAW 974. His hobbies and activities usually centered around working with his hands. The year after Hurricane Katrina, James helped restore homes in Mississippi, where he also liked to spend his winters. He also loved spending time with his family, watching his grandchildren’s sports and band concerts.

James is survived by his children Kristina (Christopher) Pelka of Peoria, Sheila (Jay) Guppy of Hebron Connecticut, Paula (Jeff) Matthews of Maroa Illinois, and William Means of Hebron Connecticut.  He is also survived by his grandchildren; Michelle Guppy, Samantha Guppy,  Alexander Matthews, Elijah Matthews,  Zachariah Matthews and Lauren (Caleb) Marrett and his great granddaughters Cora and Layken.

James’ wish was to donate his body to science and Cremation rites will be accorded. Memorial contributions can be made to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Down Syndrome Association or Special Olympics.  Cards can be sent from and condolences left at

To send flowers to the family in memory of James L Means, please visit our flower store.
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