Funeral Details

James Paul Giles

December 6, 1943 - December 19, 2023



Midtown Funeral Home
3918 West Irving Park Road
Chicago, Illinois 60618
Get Directions
Visitation Saturday, December 23, 2023 from 1:30pm until time of service at 4pm


Midtown Funeral Home
3918 West Irving Park Road
Chicago, Illinois 60618
Get Directions
Saturday, December 23, 2023 at 4:00 PM


By Family

Interment - Private

The service will be live streamed on Saturday, December 23, 2023 at 4PM Central Time.

Memorial Contributions

Lurie Childrens Hospital
225 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611


James Paul Giles, born on December 6, 1943 in Bridgeton, New Jersey passed away peacefully in his Chicago home on December 19, 2023. He was the son of the late Mary Kathryn and James Henry Giles. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Kathleen; his daughters Susan, Ann, and Nancy, and six grandchildren.

James will be dearly missed by his family and friends for his wit, wisdom, kindness, and his homemade macaroni and cheese. He was generous and compassionate. He made friends everywhere he went.

James graduated from St. Bonaventure University with a bachelor’s degree in biology. He served as a biologist in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps during the Vietnam War by testing food, laying the foundation for his career in food quality and safety. He went on to work for thirty-three years at Planters Life Savers as Vice President of Quality and Environmental Affairs. And later was President of Nabisco Brands Company, the intellectual property holding company of Nabisco Inc.

Through his career, he became an expert in cashew production and traveled extensively in India, Africa, and Vietnam. He was a board member of the American Peanut Council, Hazelnut Council, and the Cashew Council and an advisor to the African Cashew Council Alliance. He was instrumental in educating international factory leaders in safe practices in the nut industry, including eliminating the use of lead in food containers, eliminating the use of DDT in nut production, and the implementation of safe labor practices. He most recently worked as a consultant helping develop cashew production startups in many African countries. He was always very modest but proud of the important and beneficial work he did.

Throughout his career, James travelled the world and he passed his love of adventure and curiosity on to his children. As a boy in Bridgeton, James loved the local candy shop, and because he later worked for Life Savers, he was fondly known to the neighborhood kids as “The Candyman.” In his retirement years he was known mostly as Pop, a patient and dedicated grandfather who enjoyed cooking with his grandchildren and taking them to museums, restaurants, and ice cream shops.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in his name may be made to Lurie Childrens Hospital of Chicago, 225 E, Chicago AVe., Chicago IL 60611 (

Arrangements by Midtown Funeral Home and Cremation Options, 773.654.3744,


We encourage you to share your personal condolences and stories of James Paul Giles below and we will share them with the family.
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Thoughts and prayers Nancy and family. Love you!

Seth and João Atchley
December 21, 2023
I could go on and on about how special Jim was to me. When I first moved to Chicago, Jim and Kathy welcomed me into their home for a couple of weeks. I was working downtown, so would take the bus from their place to work. Every morning when I woke up, I would have a cup of coffee, a glass of orange juice, and a breakfast sandwich waiting. I also had a sack lunch, with the most amazing sandwich (with so much delicious butter), and a juice box. None of this was ever ask for. It was done because that was Jim. Jim had a very special way of asking questions and making you feel important. He cared about your answers and cared about you as a person. I’m extremely thankful for the friendship I have with Nancy because I have so many wonderful memories of her dad. Sending all of my love to Kathy, and the girls.

Lily Stewart
December 21, 2023
60 Years ago, during Freshmen hazing I first met., Jim ,the South Jersey farmer ..Those roots never left him. & even lately I could hear it in his voice.
So many good times & stories from those college years & all the times my car made the trip from South Jersey to Western NY without at least one breakdown. .
I have been thinking about all of life that we shared over the years. and celebrating his life.
Sorry that I didn't get to welcome him into the 80+ club, but then i only beat him by a week.

Rest in piece my friend.....see you on the other side.

Kevin Leeds

Kevin Leeds
December 21, 2023
Extending heartfelt condolences Nancy and family. I'm very grateful to have met your wonderful father at the baby shower for Frannie xo.

Anna Poulos
December 22, 2023