Jimmie D. “Jim” Williams, 79, of Rothbury, formerly of Shelby, passed away on Monday, March 29, 2021 at Harbor Hospice Poppen House in Muskegon, Michigan. Jim was born on October 9, 1941, in Martinsville, Illinois to Eugene and Marceline (Hoyt) Williams, the youngest of 6 siblings. Jim served in the US Navy on the destroyer USS Bordelon, including time on board during the Cuban Missile Crisis in the Bay of Pigs. After his honorable discharge Jim settled in Findlay, Ohio before moving to Michigan.
On May 20, 1989 Jim married Phyllis (Carey) and she survives him, along with their children Reba (Derek) Brown and Mallory (Luke) Baffi. He adored, and relentlessly teased, his grandchildren Giana and Gunner Brown, and recently welcomed the blessings of Trey Brown and Hardin Baffi into the family. Jim was also father to Brent Williams, RaeAnne Booth, Jolie Healy, Lisa Smith and Jenny Williams. He enjoyed times with other grandchildren especially Matt Smith, Jr., Hailey Crowley, and Mikey Booth. Jim is also survived by several other grandchildren and great-grandchildren whom he held closely in his heart and thoughts in prayer.
Jim held a strong work ethic and held many management positions in the manufacturing field including Brundage Corporation in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Air Master Fan in Jackson, Michigan, and retired from Yukon Manufacturing in Litchfield, Michigan in 2003. Jim couldn’t stay retired, working hotel maintenance in Silver Lake for several summers, at Valley City Metal Products, and most recently cutting and delivering wood with his good friend Bruce Brimmer. Unfortunately, Jim contracted COVID-19 in October of 2020 and the virus rapidly advanced his Alzheimer’s Disease and shortened his life significantly. He was a devoted Christian who held a deep faith in Jesus Christ, sharing his favorite belief that “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.” Jim was also known as “Coach” to years of softball players in Kalamazoo and Shelby through coaching on summer recreation leagues and volunteering with the Shelby High School softball program. Jim also volunteered at the annual Heather Copenhaver Softball Tournaments, and at several post-prom events at Shelby High School.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents Eugene and Marceline Williams, in-laws Jim and Joan Carey, daughter Jenny Williams, brothers Billy Williams, Albert Williams and Robert Williams, sister Betty Shonk, and other treasured family members. In addition to his wife Phyllis, Jim is survived by sister Peggy Businger, brothers-in-law Sean (Tammy) Carey, Michael Carey, sister-in-law Angie Williams, nephews Michael (Maggie) Carey, Malcolm Carey, John Carey, and Thomas Carey, along with several other nephews and nieces.
Per his wishes, Jim will be cremated, and a celebration of his life will take place at a later time when it is considered safe to gather in large groups. Jim’s family would like to thank the excellent staff at Harbor Hospice Poppen House for their compassionate care of Jim in his final days. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate contributions to the Heather Copenhaver Scholarship Fund at the Community Foundation for Oceana County, PO Box 902, Pentwater, MI 49449 or gifts can be made online at www.oceanafoundation.org to the Shelby Public Schools Foundation Fund, which includes the Copenhaver Scholarship, or to the Alzheimer’s Association, 564 S Main St. Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI 48108.