Barn 04

James "Jim" F. Willhite

January 29, 1927 ~ July 7, 2014 (age 87)

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James "Jim" Floyd Willhite, went to be with his wife on July 7, 2014. 

Jim was born in Kentucky and lived on his grandmother’s tobacco farm until joining the military during WWII.. He proudly served in the U.S. Army, during WWII. After the war, he moved to Michigan, where he met the love of his life, Virginia Hibbard, at the Cunningham’s Drug Store lunch counter. Jim and Virginia were married on Sept. 4, 1948, having 6 children. They continued their marital bliss for 57 years.

Jim, Virginia, and their son’s built his Michigan farm house by hand. He never went into debt during the construction, he only built it as he could afford to. Later, he converted the barn into a home. He loved to take his family on Sunday drives and summer vacations.

After retirement, Jim and Virginia purchased a home at the Mainlands in Pinellas Park, Florida. They enjoyed spending time with family, devoting summers to Michigan, winters to Florida, holidays in Texas, and summer breaks in Washington. They traveled the world extensively together--anywhere Virginia wanted to go, they went.

Jim was very active in the Senior Center in Hudson Michigan and the Mainland’s community. He never missed an event or luncheon and never met a pancake breakfast he didn’t like. He loved making Sunday breakfast for his family. He was a greeter at Rosie’s Clam Shack and Karen’s Uptown Cafe, entertaining many a customer with his life stories and anecdotal wisdom.

Jim was a true gentleman, never allowing a lady to open door. He was a caring and generous man, with both his time and knowledge. He loved ice cream and adventures, whether it was learning to square dance, parasailing, or flying an Ultra-light plane, he was always up for a challenge. On his 75th birthday, he went skydiving, his 80th was hot air ballooning and his 85th was zip-lining.

Jim is survived by 6 children; Sharon (Paul) Jones, Barbara (Bill) Machnis, David (Karen) Willhite, Rosemary “Rosie” Slater, Patricia (John) Boderick , Michael (Wanda) Willhite, 12 grandchildren; Eric, Samantha, James, Megan, Melanie, Michelle, Tammy, Karan, Keven, Michael, Melissa, and Nicholas, 26 great grandchildren, 5 great great grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his loving wife Virginia.


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