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Jeffrey S. Binkley
October 6, 1962 ~ November 4, 2023 (age 61) 61 Years Old
Jeffrey Scott Binkley, born October 6, 1962, left us unexpectedly at the age of 61 on Saturday, November 4, 2023. He was successful in all the ways that truly matter. He lived a full life and was well loved. He was easy to befriend and hard to anger. He loved nature and spent his professional life working to preserve and restore it. He spent his last day working on the land they loved.
But we wanted more time with him and will miss him beyond words.
Jeff was born to Jerry and Shirley Binkley in Salem, Illinois. The family moved to Ridge Farm, Illinois where Jeff and his family were members of the Vermilion Grove Friends Meeting and he attended grade school, middle school and high school. At Ridge Farm High School, he was a three sport athlete in basketball, football and track.
He continued his academic and football career at Earlham College, in Richmond, Indiana, where his mother, grandmother and younger sister also attended. After graduating in 1985 with a degree in Biology, he went to Miami University in Oxford, OH, where he got a Master’s in Environmental Science in 1987. Jeff spent his career putting into practice what he learned at those schools, overseeing some of the most ambitious environmental remediation efforts carried out in the upper Midwest. As his career progressed, his wisdom and experience led him to spend more time in the office, but his heart was always in the field.
He and his future wife, Susan Randall, met in high school and never looked back. They were married on June 13, 1987 and lived in various locations in the Midwest before settling in Michigan. While in Lansing, their daughters, Emma & Sylvia, were born. They later moved to Houghton, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The UP and their camp on Huron Bay, Lake Superior hold many wonderful memories for the Binkleys. But home called and, after the passing of his parents, Jerald Binkley (2014) and Shirley Mills Binkley (2020), Jeff and Susan moved back to the family farmstead in the fall of 2022. Under their loving care, Maple Grove Farm, in Vermilion Grove, IL was given a new life.
Susan and their two daughters were at the center of Jeff’s life. He thrived in fatherhood and excelled as the proud Grampy to his two grandchildren, Henry and Adeline. It was at Maple Grove Farm that Jeff celebrated the marriage of his younger daughter, Sylvia, September 23, 2023. The wedding served also as a gathering of family and friends who traveled from around the country to witness the special event. He leaves behind his wife Susan, daughter Emma (Paul, Henry and Adeline), daughter Sylvia (Riley), sisters Amy (Loch, Tavish and Maizri) and Annette (Bret and Adam), and mother-in-law Sue (Honnold) Randall.
He is predeceased by his father Jerry, mother Shirley and two older brothers Steve and Jerry Carl.
Graveside Service will be at 10:30am Central Time, at Vermilion Grove Cemetery on Thursday, November 9th followed by a gathering with lunch at the Edgewood Center at the Forest Glen Preserve. All are welcome.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Jeff’s memory to:
*FOREST GLEN PRESERVE
Please First Designate: Honorary, Memorial & Special Gifts