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James McWilliams

James A. McWilliams

November 22nd, 1933 - April 13th, 2022

James's Obituary

James Allen McWilliams, born November 22, 1933, passed away on April 13, 2022, with his wife and family by his side. Jim lived a wonderful 88 years. He was born in Decatur, MI to the late Marvin and June McWilliams. He was preceded in death by his sister Mary in 1995.

Jim graduated from Decatur High School in 1951. Served as Class President and enjoyed playing sports for the Raiders. After graduation, Jim enrolled at the University of Michigan, attended for a year but found his way back to Dowagiac and worked at Heddon’s making fishing poles. A short time later, Jim joined the US Army for a couple of years and then enrolled at Western Michigan University where he graduated with a business degree.

In 1959 he married Betty Rasmussen of Dowagiac and made Dowagiac his home. Jim spent a majority of his career at the First Savings Association. He sat on various boards volunteering his time along with being a member of the Lions, Masons and Elks Clubs. In 1984, he and Betty moved permanently to Magician Lake where they enjoyed watching their grandchildren swim and ski and enjoyed pontooning around the lake with friends.

Jim had a great knack for learning and fixing things as evidenced by his interest in owning and running a couple of car washes in Dowagiac and Decatur. One of his other favorite hobbies was jogging and running, being one of the first running enthusiasts in the area long before the first Nike Waffle Trainer running shoe.

Jim loved the outdoors and enjoyed various hunting trips. His favorite was spending time with his friends in the Upper Peninsula, specifically in the Ralph and Amasa, MI areas. The Deerslayers Cabin was the location of many deer and bird hunting and fishing expeditions started and always ended with a laugh and many good times and stories.

After retirement Jim and Betty were able to travel to New Zealand, Alaska, and Hawaii. They began to spend winters in Florida, Gulf Shores, Alabama and eventually settling in Green Valley, Arizona.

Jim will be remembered for his kindness and generosity along with his power of memory retention to tell a joke, story or funny anecdote. Long live Pete.

He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, his children Jim (Brenda McLellan) and Brian (Carolyn), and his six grandchildren, Daniel, Megan, Scott, Nathan, Talia and Gavin, and other nieces and nephews.

The family will receive guests from 10am until time of celebration of life ceremony at 11am, Friday, May 20, 2022, at the Newell Chapel in Decatur, MI. A luncheon will be held immediately following the ceremony at the VFW Hall in Decatur. A private burial will follow at the Lakeside Cemetery.

The family is being cared for by the Stark Family Funeral Home. A special thanks to the staff of Forest Glen for all their compassion and the continued care for Betty.

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