James Wabegijik unexpectedly went home to be with Jesus on May 14, 2017. Born Sept. 1, 1930 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, he was charismatic, precious and dearly loved by so many.
He met his beloved wife of 57 years, Mary (Jarvis), when she had a flat tire right in front of the gas station in Torch Lake where he worked at the time. They were married five years later on March 1, 1960. They lived in the Elk Rapids and the Traverse City area for the past 47 years.
Throughout the years James coached hockey at Elk Rapids High School and was a faithful usher to St. Patrick's Church of Grawn for 30 years.
James was a painter by trade but helping others in need was always his true heart. He loved practical jokes and his laughter was infectious. He played the harmonica and loved fishing and hockey. James leaves an empty spot in the hearts of all who knew and loved him.
James is survived by his wife, Mary (Jarvis); his children, Michael (Cindy McQueer) Wabegijik, Patricia (Gary Bontrager) and Daniel (Audrey Golden) Wabegijik; grandchildren, Ann (Zach Tolan) Churchill, Keanna Krieser, Joshua (Sandra) Churchill, Melissa (Jarvis) Kendall Krussell and Amy (Churchill) Greg Gehringer; and eight great-grandchildren, Melody, Addison, Kylee, Matthew, Alex, Liam, Emma and Kalel.
A celebration of life will take place Thursday, June 8, at St. Patrick's Church, 630 S. West Silver Lake Road, Grawn. Visitation is at 10 a.m. The service is at 11 a.m., with a luncheon to follow in the fellowship hall.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers contributions be made to the St. Patrick's Church, 630 S. West Silver Lake Road, Grawn, to help fund funeral costs for James. Please mark your checks or contributions for funeral costs for James Wabegijik.
The family is being cared for by the Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Published on May 26, 2017