James R. Wolf, age 78 of Burr Oak, passed away Monday, Dec. 21, 2009, at his home.
Jim was born Sept. 24, 1931, in Flint, Mich., a son to the late Carl and Bury (Wolfenden) Wolf.
Jim married Margo Cullen in Wayne, Mich., in 1951; this marriage ended in divorce. In 1977, he married Esther (Eicher) Bennett in Leonidas.
He attended high school in Wayne, graduating in 1949. He received his degree in Mortuary Science at Wayne State School of Mortuary Science in 1955. He worked at Lents Funeral Home in Wayne until 1960, then at Ted C. Sullivan Funeral Home in Detroit until 1968 when he moved to Three Rivers where he owned and operated Wolf Funeral Home. In 1980 he moved to Pontiac to work for Sparks Griffin Funeral Home. Jim held his mortuary license in Michigan and Florida.
He learned to fly while in Three Rivers; became an aircraft owner and operator of an air taxi company. He continued his interest in aviation, becoming a full time corporate pilot at Oakland/Pontiac until his retirement.
While in Detroit he was president of the Jaycee’s and a member of the church choir at St. Mary’s of Redford Detroit. He was a member of the Three Rivers Rotary Club, the Elks, and was actively involved in parish activities and music ministry with his guitar at Immaculate Conception. He loved music and especially loved having friends come to play music for him. He also loved Barbershop and sang tenor with the St. Joseph County Tune Trappers. Jim was active in the Cursillo movement, a weekend program to help Christians grow and strengthen the faith of others. He was a member of the Three Rivers Pilot’s Club, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and the NRA. He loved working on tractors and going to tractor shows. He had a collection of over 15 antique garden tractors which he had restored. He was also an avid reader, reading a book a day. Jim also loved fishing and hunting.
He is survived by his loving wife of 32 years, Esther; one son, Richard Wolf, of Grand Rapids; daughters, Mary (Jack) Killeen, of Bloomfield Hills, Greta Petty of Cincinnati; Karen (David) Schaefer of Cincinnati and Anne (John) Rice of Troy, Mich.; two step-sons, Terrence Bennett of Burr Oak and Frederic Bennett of Sheridan, Ariz.; step-daughter, Cheryl Waters of Leonidas; grandchildren, Charles Mooney of Detroit, Kevin and Kelly Wolf, of Grand Rapids, Noah and Abbey Rice of Troy, Kaitlyn and Samuel Schaefer of Cincinnati; step grandchildren, Melinda Bennett of Kalamazoo, Amy Waters of Leonidas, Stacy (Jason) Schwenk of Centreville; two step-great-grandchildren, Brandon Ford and Mia Schwenk.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one step-son, James Bennett.
The family will receive relatives and friends from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 27, at the Schipper Funeral Home in Colon. Funeral services celebrating the life of James R. Wolf will be 11 a.m. on Monday at the funeral home with Mr. David J. Farrell officiating. Burial will follow at the Locust Grove Cemetery in Findley.
If desired, the family suggest memorials be made in memory of Jim to either the Three Rivers Health Hospice or the Colon Township Library Fund. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.