James A. Mandrell longtime resident of Kalamazoo, passed away peacefully at Borgess Hospital on December 17, 2017 at age 86. He was born in Benton, Illinois, where he spent his early childhood. Jim graduated from Western Michigan University. Jim worked in a variety positions in education, including serving for many years as an admissions counselor at Kalamazoo College. He was active in a number of political campaigns, including those of Gerald Ford and George Romney. He also worked as an aide to Congressman Garry Brown. Later, Jim worked as an appraiser. Jim will be remembered as a good friend and inveterate story teller. Although not a native son, he was a devoted Michigander who enjoyed spending time in many parts of the state and appreciated its diverse and natural beauty. In retirement, Jim loved spending time with those close to him and was a frequent and appreciative visitor to Caf Meli where he developed many friendships. Jim is survived by son, James Bennett Mandrell (partner, Robert L. Molla III) of Duxbury, Massachusetts, and daughter, Melissa Mandrell (husband, Jeffrey Fullam) of Concord, New Hampshire. Cremation has taken place. The family will receive friends from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, January 6, 2017 at the Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Memorial Chapel, 622 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo, MI 49007. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to a charity of the donor's choice.