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James Dilts, Jr.

James A. “Jimmy” Dilts, Jr.

March 11th, 1951 - January 14th, 2023

Jimmy's Obituary

St. Joseph, Michigan -James A. “Jimmy” Dilts died unexpectedly following a brief illness January 17, 2023, at Corewell Health Lakeland in St. Joseph, Michigan.

He was born on March 11, 1951 at Memorial Hospital in St. Joseph, Michigan, the son of James A. Dilts, Sr. and Betty S. (Mason) Dilts. Jimmy attended High School in Niles and Galien, Michigan after Elementary School at Sorter in Benton Harbor, Michigan. He attended College at Santa Fe Community College Andrews Center in Starke, Florida. He graduated from Bradford County Truck Drivers Vocational School also in Starke, Florida and drove Truck for 35 years over a million miles without accident. He most recently drove with Transway out of Holland, Michigan until his retirement. In his early years he worked as a construction laborer, fuel driver, and most fondly at Rex Auto Parts formerly of Benton Harbor, Michigan. He even learned shoe repair from his wife’s (of 50 years) father (formerly of Brown’s Shoe Repair of Benton Harbor, Michigan) which he practiced this skill after opening a Western Boot and Shoe Store in Starke, Florida until he returned to Michigan. Jimmy liked everyone he met. He called everyone his friend. He mostly enjoyed fishing for Coho Salmon on Lake Michigan in his small boat and with friends. In his early years you could find him on one of the piers in St. Joseph, Michigan fishing for perch, coho, or whatever was biting that day even in a storm. He mostly loved listening to the radio and music of the 50’s & 60’s and his friends band (White Summer) whenever they were playing. He was always singing a tune. There wasn’t a song he didn’t know or who or when it was made. He was a hard-core Detroit Lions fan, really liked NASCAR, and enjoyed old western movies. Most people were surprised at how nice his voice really was and told him so. He was a loving husband and father. He was a good man, always ready to help when he could, and will be deeply missed.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by a brother, Terry. Surviving in addition to his wife, Betty A. Dilts, are his son, James Dilts III, Sisters Deborah Locklear of Illinois, Rebecca Medina of Stevenville, MI, Two nieces Kristi Baker, Bridgman, MI, Jill Dilts Kinchen, Eau Claire , MI and five nephews, Shannon (Jen) Locklear, Illinois, Jason Baker Phoneix, Arizona, Ryan Dilts, Benton Harbor,
Ron Brown Florida, and William (Billy) Brown Michigan. He has one very special Cousin Jamie Smith along with other caring loving cousins and Aunts and Uncles. As everyone was a friend to Jim he had many. So many from the Pilot Truck Stop on Napier Avenue of Benton Harbor, MI. A few special friends he spoke of often were Tommy and Margaret Woods, Florida, Bill Dodd, Florida, Pete Vaughn, Florida, Very Special Friend, Tyrone of Benton Harbor, MI, Harvey Hardin, Stevensville, MI, Butch, Stevensville, MI. Other close friends Rick Lowe, Jimmy Schrader, Jimmy Watkins, Larry Withrow Benton Harbor, MI and his brother of Alabama and Wally Strebbs, St. Joseph, MI.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held, Saturday, February 11, 2023 at 2:00 P.M. at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph, Michigan. Cremation has taken place per his request. Interment will be at Riverview Cemetery St. Joseph, Michigan. Donations in Jimmy’s name may be made to Gift of Life Michigan or Donate Life in the state of your choice. Those who wish to sign Jimmy’s Memory Book online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com. Thank you for being a friend.

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