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James's Story

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James Earl Soper, age 69, of Kingsley, died June 17, 2018 at his home. He was born on Sept. 10, 1948 in Traverse City the son of the late Bert and Emeline (Nelson) Soper.
Jim attended Glen Lake School and served in the United States Army during Vietnam.
He married Judy Thorington on Jan. 25, 1992 at the Cadillac Assembly of God, where he was baptized that same year.
Jim was employed for 37 years at Cherry Growers in Grawn until his retirement in 2014.
His hobbies included fishing, kayaking, riding motorcycles, fixing cars, playing darts (he was a champion dart thrower), mudbogs, demolition derby and stock car racing.
He is survived by his wife, Judy; son, James J. (Bridget) Soper, of Kingsley; daughters, Tina (Jeff) Willingham, of Traverse City, Tabby Grames and Angie Merritt, both of Cadillac; brothers, Bill Soper, of Kalkaska, Calvin Soper, of Mesick, Elwood (April) Soper, of Kingsley, John (Cheryl) Soper, of Tennessee, Will Randall, of Tennessee and Ben (Shelly) Thorington, of Grawn; and sisters, Alberta Jakee and Sarah Daniels, both of Kingsley. Jim had 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren with one on the way. A special mention is made of very close lifelong friendship with Janet and Al Dallas, of Goetzville, and Jan and Dick Rytkonen, of Traverse City.
Jim was a special man and mentor or father figure to many of his nieces and nephews for three generations. He thought of them all and treated them as his own. His nephews, Eric Soper, Richard Soper, Tony Zeeryp and Anthony Jacot were especially important to him. He spent a lot of time with them having fun and making memories.
Jim was also preceded in death by a sister, Dolly Guest.
A celebration of life will be held at Jim's home, 1312 E. Blair Town Hall Road, Kingsley, MI 49649 on July 14, 2018 starting at 5 p.m. with military honors.
Please visit Jim's personal page of memories at www.oakgrovefh.com to share a story or memory.
Arrangements are by the Oak Grove Funeral Home & Cremation Center in Manistee.
Published on July 9, 2018
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