James “Jim” Raymond Reagan passed away June 20, 2023, in Rolla, Mo., at the age of 80.
Jim Reagan was born August 7, 1942, to Raymond and Edna Reagan, of Duke, Mo. Jim grew up on a large farm in Sherrill, Mo., and attended Licking High School where he actively played baseball and basketball, and graduated in 1960. After graduation, Jim and his uncle Cecil moved to St. Louis, there he worked for Chuckaburger and Mark Bradley Gift Store. Later Jim moved to Jefferson City, where he worked for Valley Glass. In 1961, Jim made his way to Rolla, which he called home, to work for Miller Glass, and later that year in October he married Carol Jo Catalano. Together they had one daughter, Tina.
Jim found his true profession when he began working at Broom Body Shop in Rolla. Years later, he left Broom Body Shop to work at Lefty’s Body Shop on Kingshighway, later purchasing the business; moving it to Old Route 66, until the business was moved to its current location in 1977, later changing the name to Jim Reagan Autos. Over the years, he also owned Bennett’s Catfish Motel, The Crescent’s Station (Phillips 66), and Hy Point Rentals.
In Jim’s earlier years, he sponsored his bowling team (Jim’s Auto Body), hosted Friday night poker games with buddies, rode horseback and Honda motorcycles, raced stock cars from Rolla to Lebanon, and if he wasn’t fixing cars he was smashing them up at a demo derby. Later in life he enjoyed remodeling homes, dabbled in about everything possible, and tried to convince his daughter to trade her Harley in for a Honda, however, his true passion was hunting and fishing. He traveled all over the United States to get the “big one.” His game room walls are filled with prized trophies from all over. Jim loved to laugh and kept everyone laughing throughout his final days. He believed in the Lord, however, would joke and say he “never met a preacher that didn’t want something.”
Jim married the love of his life, Catherine Louise (Baumgartner) Hill, in 1980. Together they built a beautiful life for over 42 years. He is survived by his daughter, Tina Reagan, stepson, Steve Hill (Marcie), stepdaughter, Pam Gaddy (companion Bob Oliver), stepdaughter, Janet Lynn (Joe) Smith, his sister, Katherine Kofahl, and fishing buddies, Kenny and Lisa Grimm, as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
They were blessed with seven grandchildren: Amanda Malchert, Steffanee (Malchert) Allison, Dustin Hill, Shawn Hill, Ryan Gaddy, Collin Smith and Miranda Smith. Along with 13 great grandchildren: Joseph Smith, Aaron Smith, Jaxson Smith, Wyatt Fletcher, Madison Fletcher, Bethany Allison, Jadelynn Allison, Tristin Hill, Natalie Hill, Max Hill, Makenzie Hill, Lillian Gaddy and Mason Gaddy.
Jim was preceded in death by his father, Raymond Reagan; mother, Edna Reagan; infant brother, Charles Reagan; and sister, Donna “Hazel” Cherry.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory and honor of James R. Reagan to American Cancer Society or a charity of your choice. Cremation services were under the direction of Rolla Cremation and Memorial and online condolences may be offered at www.rollacremation.com. The Reagan family sends a heart-felt thank you to Phelps Health Homecare (hospice).