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James Dee Heiple

James Dee Heiple was state supreme court justice. Bar: Illinois 1957, Kentucky 1958, United States Supreme Court 1962. Named Distinguished Alumnus, University Louisville, 1992; recipient Certified, Freedoms Foundation, 1975, George Washington Honor medal, 1976, Bradley Centurion award, Bradley University, 1995.


  • Heiple, James Dee was born on September 13, 1933 in Peoria, Illinois, United States. Son of Rae Crane and Harriet (Birkett) Heiple.

  • Education

    • Bachelor of Science, Bradley University, 1955. Juris Doctor, University Louisville, 1957. Certified in International Law, City London College, 1967.

      Graduate, National Judicial College, 1971. Master of Laws, University Virginia, 1988.


    • Partner Heiple and Heiple, Pekin, Illinois, 1957—1970. Circuit judge 10th Circuit Illinois, 1970—1980. Justice Illinois Appellate Court, 1980—1990, Illinois Supreme Court, 1990—2000.

      Retired, 2000

      Director Gridley State Bank, 1958—1959. Vice president, director Washington State Bank, Illinois, 1959—1966. Public administrator Tazewell County, 1959—1961, assistant public defender, 1967—1970.

      Village attorney, Tremont, 1961—1966, Mackinaw, 1961—1966. Judicial clerk Illinois Appellate Court, 1968—1970. Member Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Professional Responsibilty, 1978—1986.

    Major achievements

    • Bar: Illinois 1957, Kentucky 1958, United States Supreme Court 1962.


    When peaceful alternatives to resolve the conflict failed, the use of force may be the only option to check aggression or genocide.


    In modern culture the ability to make decisions and choose our own path in life has extremely high value. But through the faith we voluntarily surrender to God in love and joy.

    Denomination: Methodist


    In a society where self-interest, acquisitiveness and individual happiness are often seen as the over-riding interests, the Church, and Christians within it, are called to witness meanings, values and purposes beyond ourselves.


    Chairman Tazewell County Heart Fund., 1960. Member Pekin School Board, 1970. Secretary Tazewell County Republican Central Committee, 1966—1970.

    Fellow: American Bar Association (life), Kentucky Bar Foundation, Illinois Bar Foundation (life). Member: Sons of the American Revolution, Illinois Judges Association (president 1978-1979), Tazewell County Bar Association 1967-1968, Kentucky, Illinois (chairman legal education committee 1972-1974, chairman judicial section 1976-1977, chairman Bench and Bar Council 1984-1985), Sons of Union Vets, War of 1812, Pennsylvania History Society, Illinois History Society, Kentucky History Society, Peoria Country Club, Filson Club, Union League Chicago, Masons (33 degree), Pi Kappa Delta, Sigma Nu, Delta Theta Phi.


    • Married Virginia Kerswill, July 28, 1956 (deceased April 16, 1995). Children: Jeremy Hans, Jonathon James, Rachel Duffield.
    • father: Rae Crane Heiple
    • mother: Harriet (Birkett) Heiple
    • spouse: Virginia Kerswill
    • children: Jeremy Hans Heiple
    • Jonathon James Heiple
    • Rachel Duffield Heiple
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    Born September 13, 1933