James Podgers (formerly Zalesny) thumbnail

James Podgers (formerly Zalesny)

December 17, 1950 - February 1, 2018

On February 1st, Jim died peacefully at home surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife, Cis Redmond, children Kevin, Michael and Hilary, sisters Patti (Jim Johnson) and Dede (Ray Noonan) and many other nieces, nephews, family, friends and retail establishments. He joins his beloved parents, Julie and Jerry P…read more

On February 1st, Jim died peacefully at home surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife, Cis Redmond, children Kevin, Michael and Hilary, sisters Patti (Jim Johnson) and Dede (Ray Noonan) and many other nieces, nephews, family, friends and retail establishments. He joins his beloved parents, Julie and Jerry Podgers, in heaven. Jim enjoyed a 37 year career at the American Bar Association, mostly working for the ABA Journal. He was especially proud of helping open the door to the Journal’s coverage of international law (how else to get that fabulous free travel?). He especially enjoyed covering: the 1998 Rome Statute creating the International Criminal Court; the Hawaiian independence movement (coincidently at the same time the Wisconsin Badgers were in Hawaii playing the Rainbow Warriors, he figured he pulled off a fast one with that assignment); and the Magna Carta anniversary in London (where he pilfered Margaret Thatcher’s paper clip off the podium at Royal Albert Hall). He was able to interview many interesting people: Gerald Ford, Bianca Jagger (she sent him her personal phone number, “You know, just in case” per Jim), Telford Taylor (lawyer at the Nuremberg trials) and in his final interview, a lawyer with a passion for bullfighting. He was the happy escort of Les Girls: Maria Enright, the late Jeanne Gray and the late Marcia Kladder – his partners in gossip and jollity at the ABA. He was a charter member of FATS, his UW Madison ever-faithful, interesting and hilarious college buddies. There was no end to the discussions on Badger football. The group is now into its third generation and going strong. A devoted jazz fan, he was the lead sax player in The Big Band Sound of Deerfield. He was an avid reader and zealous book collector (hoarder). An enthusiastic golfer, he once got lost on the links at Lahinch in Ireland and parred the final hole at St. Andrews in Scotland. He hosted a friendly neighborhood poker game for many years that was the source of much merriment. Along with his family and friends, Jim will be sorely missed by Amazon, Vineyard Vines, LL Bean and Orvis. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made for pancreatic cancer research to Mary Mulcahy MD, c/o the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, 675 N. St. Clair, Chicago, IL. Memorial visitation Sunday from 3-9pm at Smith-Corcoran Funeral Home, 6150 N. Cicero Ave., Chicago. Family and friends will meet Monday at Queen of All Saints Basilica, 6280 N. Sauganash, Chicago for Mass at 10am. Interment private. For info 773-736-3833 or visit Jim’s memorial at www.smithcorcoran.com

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Visitation Information

Date: Sunday, February 11, 2018

Time: 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Smith-Corcoran Chicago Funeral Home

6150 N. Cicero Ave
Chicago, IL 60646

Service Information

Date: Monday, February 12, 2018

Time: 10:00 am

Queen of All Saints Basilica

6280 N. Sauganash Avenue
Chicago, IL

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