James D. Stackus, 90, passed away peacefully at his home in Boyne City early Sunday morning, Nov. 4, 2012.
He was born on Jan. 31, 1922, in Boyne City, to Schuyler and Sylvia (Shepherd) Stackus. Jim graduated from Boyne City High School in 1940. He lettered in baseball, football and basketball as team captain and was awarded the Outstanding Senior Male Athlete in 1940. He was inducted into the Boyne City High School Hall of Fame in 2010.
Following high school, Jim worked in Saginaw serving his resident training in mortuary science, 1941-42, at E.G. Deisler Funeral Home.
He served in the U.S. Navy 1942-45. "Lil Doc" served during World War II as pharmacist's first mate on the destroyer ship U.S.S. Wilkes. Following discharge, he worked in Ionia at Meyers Funeral Home, and completed resident training in 1946. He enrolled in mortuary science at Wayne State University and graduated in June 1947. Jim returned to Boyne City where he purchased the Stackus Funeral home from his father and aunt, Mrs. Glen Norma Shearer. After 50 years of serving his surrounding communities, he sold the business in 1990.
Jim served with honor and love in many club, community and state events, including Rotary (twice past president), life member F&AM Lodge No. 391, Senior Boy Scout leader, past president Boyne City Chamber of Commerce, board of directors Camp Daggett, and served on the Boyne City School Board for eight years. He was past president and secretary of the Michigan Funeral Directors District 9, Board of Directors/(Governor) of M.F.D.A. He was a member of the National Flying Funeral Directors Association, past manager of the Boyne City Airport and flew power lines for Wolverine Power. Jim is well known for his involvement in, service to, and love for Boyne City.
Many of Jim's favorite pastimes and hobbies included flying, downhill skiing, fly fishing, hunting, berry picking and working in the woods with his dozers and tractors.
An absolute joy of Jim's life began in 1974 and continued for more than 20 years, which were the canoe trips he made exploring and navigating the wild rivers of Canada, with an assortment of 20 to 25 members of the notorious canoe clan dubbed "The Gunnel Grabbers."
Although he gave generously of his time to his community, Jim will forever be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend, who was never too busy to make time for all of them.
He is survived by his wife Eleanor (Hosmer) Stackus. They were married June 17, 1961, at her home in Boyne City. He is also survived by his six children, Craig (Diane) Stackus of Boyne City, Cheryl Stackus of Boyne City, Leslee (Robert) Wiltjer of Boyne City, Kevin (Dawn) Stackus of Boyne City, Kelly Jo (Fred) Stutzman of Boyne City, Scott (Linda) Stackus of Petoskey; 16 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren; half sister, Joanne Eastwood of Arizona. He was preceded in death by his first wife and birth mother of his four eldest children, Charlotte (VanNornum) Stackus in 1959; his brothers, Robert, Ira and Perry; and sisters, Delores, Hilda and Norma; and grandson, Garrett.
A visitation will take place 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7, at Stackus Funeral Home in Boyne City. The funeral service will be 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Boyne City. One hour of visitation will take place prior to the service. Committal will at Maple Lawn Cemetery in Boyne City.
Memorials may be made to the Maple Lawn Cemetery gate projects, c/o Boyne City City Hall, 319 Lake St., Boyne City, Mich. 49712; or Eleanor Stackus, 417 Front St. Boyne City, Mich. 49712.
Family and friends wishing to share a thought or memory are encouraged to do so online at www.stonefuneralhomeinc.com.