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James E. Whitaker

January 30, 1938 October 4, 2021
James E. Whitaker
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Obituary for James E. Whitaker

James Everette Whitaker, 83, died October 4, 2021. A loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, he prioritized putting God first and family second. He modeled his beliefs with a lifelong study of the Bible and instilling the value of faith in God above all else. His love of family was demonstrated through his dedicated work ethic and playtime.

An entrepreneur, Jim spent most of his life owning and operating several gas stations and a locksmith shop. He founded Auburn Products in 1981 and continued to operate the company as an eBay store throughout his retirement. He played as hard as he worked. He loved the outdoors, spending time swimming at Bald Mountain Recreation Area and biking the Paint Creek Trail. His favorite vacation spot was Mackinac Island, where he always made time to ride his bike around the island and stop to skip stones.

Jim was born in Detroit on January 30, 1938, to Robert O. Whitaker and Frances E. Simpson. During an epic Michigan blizzard, he married Barbara Carlson on February 27, 1965.

In addition to his wife, Jim is survived by three children, Craig (Melissa) Whitaker of Ortonville, Michigan, Angela (Patrick Jr.) Kessler of Temperance, Michigan, and Stephanie (Brian) Cremeans of Michigan; seven grandchildren, Andrew Whitaker of Berkley, Michigan, Hannah (Grant Martin) Kessler of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Lucas Kessler of Marquette, Michigan, Benjamin Kessler of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Aaron Cremeans of St. Ignace, Michigan, Nathan (Autumn) Cremeans of Tacoma, Washington, and Matthew Cremeans of Grand Blanc, Michigan; one great-grandchild Allie Cremeans of Tacoma, Washington; and nephew Victor Lutes.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother William Whitaker, and sister Minnie Lee Downer.

The Funeral Service will be Saturday, October 9, at 11:30am at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 1368 N. Crooks Road (between 14 & 15 mile). Friends may begin visiting on Saturday at 10am. For those unable to come in person, the link for the recorded funeral service is below. Burial will be in White Chapel Cemetery. Memorial donations can be made to a charity of donor’s choice.


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