James G. Reynolds, aged 78, of Traverse City, passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, at French Manor Assisted Living of Traverse City with his wife of 28 years by his side.
Jim was born and raised in Freesoil, a small rural community in northwestern Michigan, where the abundance of wildlife and natural beauty gave Jim the inspiration to become a wildlife artist. His exceptional attention to detail won Jim worldwide recognition and multiple awards. Today his work is in collections throughout the United States.
An avid outdoorsman, Jim traveled around the world to hunt and fish, returning each time so excited to share the stories and photos of his adventures.
He was a dedicated gardener, gathering a reputation with restaurants and foodies throughout northwest Michigan. His specialty, peppers of every variety, earned him the nickname "Pepper Jim."
An amateur chef, Jim was known for tasty creations of every type and willingly shared his recipes for baked chili rellenos and jalapeno poppers. His family will fondly remember him for these and many more, including the annual prime rib "roast beast" cooked on the grill for holiday dinners.
Jim happily served his community as a volunteer with many organizations including the National Wild Turkey Federation and Michigan Conservation Association. He was also a 30-year volunteer with the National Cherry Festival.
Jim never met a stranger and was happiest when spending time in the garden or fishing and hunting on his family property. He especially enjoyed sharing his knowledge with others, teaching children to hunt and fish, firearm safety and decoy carving, to name just a few.
He graduated from Western Michigan University in 1963 with a Bachelor of Science degree in education and taught science and physical education for more than a decade.
He will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Patti J. Schaap, of Traverse City; children, Michelle (Scott) McMahan, of Inman, South Carolina, and Michael (Stephanie Gentry) Reynolds, of Palmyra, Virginia; stepchildren, Jyl Brentana, of Waukesha, Wisconsin, and Kelli (Robert) Send, of Sussex, Wisconsin; brothers, Warren (Carol) and Ralph (Sharon), all of Freesoil; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be held at the Schaap-Reynolds home in Traverse City on June 23, 2018. Details will follow.
The family is being cared for by Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home in Traverse City, where family and friends may leave tributes and remembrances on Jim's tribute page.
The family is being cared for by the Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Published on December 20, 2017