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James C. ‘Diamond Jim’ Crownhart

Published: Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 1:15 a.m. CST
James C. 'Diamond Jim' Crownhart

STERLING – James C. “Diamond Jim” Crownhart, 69, of Sterling, died Saturday, Feb. 2, 2014, at his home.

He was born on Nov. 27, 1944, in River Falls, Wis., the son of Clarence F. and Donna M. (Riley) Crownhart. He married Wilma “W.W.” J. Stine on April 1, 1995, in Sterling. Jim worked for 42 years as an iron worker with Union Local 498, Rockford.

Jim’s passion was auto racing since the age of 16. He raced at both Cordova and Byron Dragway, as well having raced all over the world. He was a member and past president of United Drag Racers Association. Jim was also a local business man, having owned Sauk Valley Fence; Sauk Valley Wrecker; and numerous other small businesses.

In retirement, Jim and Willi spent their winters in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Surviving are his wife, Willi; eight children: Holly (Charles) Rupprecht of Anchorage, Alaska, Tiffany Crownhart of Charlotte, N.C., April (Ben) Swan of Columbus, Ga., Karren (George) Eales of Easton, Dan (Shelly) Crownhart of Sterling, Patrick (Sylvia) Crownhart of DeKalb, Donna (Darryl) Roman of Davenport, Fla. and Tony Stine of Dixon; his sister, Cindy (Ralph) Gleissner of Ashton; his brothers, Dave (Sandra) Crownhart of Anchorage and Leland Crownhart of Ashton; and 10 grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Theodore.

Visitation will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at McDonald Funeral Home, 505 First Ave. in Sterling.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial is being established.

Go to to send condolences.

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