James Sikich, founder of Sikich LLP, passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 28. He served as its MP and CEO until Jan. 1, 2018, when he retired.
Sikich, 70, died from injuries sustained while assisting with the flood rescue effort on Lake Redstone, near La Valle, Wis., according to WISC TV in Madison, Wis. The station reports that Sikich was walking down wooden stairs that led to the lake. The stairs had been heavily damaged during recent heavy rain and storms. Sikich fell near a section that was broken by an uprooted tree, fell about 20 feet down the steep hill and died, Sauk County Sheriff’s Department officials say.
Sikich was raised in Naperville, Ill., and played football for Naperville (now Central) High School and graduated from the University of Illinois, with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Immediately upon graduation, he joined the accounting firm of Filbey Summers Abolt Good and Kiddoo in Champaign, Ill. In 1982, Jim founded Sikich Gardner & Co. in Aurora, Ill., which eventually became Sikich LLP. Over 35 years of his leadership, Sikich grew into a $152 million firm, ranked No. 30 on the 2018 IPA 100 list. The firm is a member of Leading Edge Alliance and PrimeGlobal.
Throughout his career, he was a member and sat on the board of several prestigious organizations in Aurora, including Waubonsee Community College, the Aurora Family YMCA, Paramount Arts Center, Mercy Hospital, Copley Memorial Hospital and the Chamber of Commerce, among others.
He was preceded in death by his sister Wendy Walker. He is survived by his sister, Cherie Harris; sons, Andy and Alex, daughters Jennifer Hayes and Megan Strelsov; grandchildren Carrie Sikich, Will Sikich, Emma Hayes and Naomi Strelsov; and his three rescue beagles Lucky, Sam and Lola.
His obituary reads, “In a life filled with striving to be the best and inspiring others to achieve greatness, Jim was prematurely cut down while characteristically attempting to help others. He loved his family, and he loved his beagles. He will be dearly missed.” His passing is mourned deeply by many family members, friends and loved ones.
Donations can be made at www.donate.rescueme.org/beagle.