Wednesday, August 12, 2015
3:00 PM EDT
First Evangelical Covenant Church
1933 Tremont Blvd NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
American Brain Tumor Assn
8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. Ste 550
Chicago, IL 60631
Life Story / Obituary
There is no greater man than one who follows Christ, loves and provides well for the family entrusted to his care, and whose dedication goes beyond most limitations. Jim Raymond was such a man. With his Lord at his side, Jim lived fully and completely at every opportunity. He worked hard for the family he loved, and strived to better himself. Although deeply missed, Jim leaves much to be remembered by those who knew him best.
Although conservative in nature, the 1950s was a time when the American dream was alive and well throughout the nation. At an all-time high, the minimum wage was $1.00 per hour, and the space age was off and running with the first U.S. satellite being launched into space. Young radio listeners everywhere tuned in to Elvis and the Everly Brothers while drive-in theaters made for great summertime fun. On the shores of Lake Michigan in the Michigan city of Muskegon, business and industry was booming. Yet for James Edward and Donna May (Dahl) Raymond, nothing could have brightened their lives more than the birth of their son, James Michael Raymond. Born on a typical Michigan winter’s day on December 11, 1958, young James was the second of three children in the Raymond household.
Jim grew up alongside his sister Kathy and younger brother Michael in their family home in the Lakeside area of Muskegon. His mother was a homemaker while Jim’s father served as a Muskegon police officer. Nearby Muskegon Lake and Lake Michigan offered much adventure for a young boy like Jim. He hung around with neighborhood friends, and always loved sports. He attended Bunker Elementary School where he was a friend to many.
As a youth in the summer months, Jim took on summer jobs cleaning horse stalls and trimming Christmas trees. His family enjoyed vacations at a cottage on Lake Charlevoix and created many lasting memories. Jim’s love of sports and his athletic nature found him playing hockey, baseball, football and basketball on the Muskegon Big Red teams. A 1977 graduate of Muskegon High School, Jim went on to further his education at Central Michigan University where he earned his degree in education.
After college, Jim ventured out on his own, moved to South Carolina and sold timeshares. Twoyears later, he moved back to Michigan and was hired as a car salesman with Sharp Buick BMW in Grand Rapids. He did well for himself at Sharp, and came to enjoy the Grand Rapids area and all it had to offer.
It was in 1991 while serving as an usher in a friend’s wedding when Jim became acquainted with one of the bridesmaids, Jodi Owen. Jim and Jodi dated for a year and were happily married on July 31 1992 at First Evangelical Covenant Church in Grand Rapids before a congregation of family and friends. Following their reception, the newlyweds enjoyed a wonderful honeymoon cruise to Jamaica, Cozumel, and Grand Cayman.
Jim and Jodi began their new lives together living on 44th Street for a year. For the next five years, they lived on Kinney Avenue. For the last 15 years of their lives together, they made Randall Avenue in Walker their home. Throughout this time, Jim and Jodi were blessed with the births of three children, Michaela, Nate and Evan. Ever the dedicated father, Jim was always involved in the lives of his children, and their many school activities. He encouraged them in each of their endeavors, and in all ways lovingly supported them. Treasured times were shared over eight years on family vacations to Hilton Head, South Carolina with extended family. Most important to Jim and Jodi was raising their children in faith as active members of First Evangelical Covenant Church. With Jim’s outgoing and personable nature, he was very involved in the Friendship Program at church for eight years.
For the last 25 years of his career, Jim worked in sales at Kool Chevrolet where he earned the loyalty of many customers, and made many good friends along the way. He often worked long hours, and when not working or spending valuable time with family, Jim enjoyed and challenged himself in a variety of activities. He often went hunting with friends in Marne and up-north in Baldwin. He ran in many 5k races, including the Reeds Lake Run, The Irish Jig, and the 5/3 Riverbank Run. Since 2011 he participated in several triathlons. He was an avid golfer and had a regular group of friends who often went out together. Always the sports fan, Jim was very fond of college football and basketball, and rooted for the Detroit Tigers, Lions, and Red Wings. He was also a big fan of Michigan football and Duke basketball.
In May of 2013, Jim began experiencing leg numbness. While on vacation in the UP in August, the numbness spread to his arm. Thorough tests revealed Jim had a brain tumor. Within a few days he had surgery to remove the growth, and subsequently endured 30 bouts of radiation as well as a year of chemotherapy. Life continued for Jim, but a year later he underwent additional surgery when a reoccurrence appeared. Even though his treatments continued, the disease was too aggressive. Placed under the care of hospice just a week ago, Jim is now at peace in the arms of his Savior.
Jim Raymond was a faith filled, Christian man who loved his family dearly. He had the best sense of humor, and was a dedicated and loyal husband, father, son, brother, and friend to all who knew him. Deeply missed and lovingly remembered, the heart of Jim lives on in the lives of those he touched in ways all-his-own.
James Michael “Jim” Raymond, aged 56 of Grand Rapids, went to be with his Lord on Thursday evening, August 6, 2015, at home with his family at his side. He is survived by his wife of 23 years, Jodi Raymond; his children, Michaela, Nate and Evan; his parents, James and Donna Raymond; his sister, Kathy (Steve) Davis; his brother, Mike (Melissa) Raymond; his father and mother-in-law, Don and Kay Owen; brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law and many nieces, nephews and friends. A service to celebrate Jim’s life will be celebrated on Wednesday, August 12, 2015, 3:00 PM at First Evangelical Covenant Church, 1933 Tremont Blvd. NW. Relatives and friends may meet his family at the church on Wednesday from 2:00 PM until the service begins at 3:00 PM. To read more about Jim’s life, to sign his guest book and to leave your own memory of him, please visit his web page at www.lifestorynet.com.