Monday, July 31, 2017
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
409 South Main Street
Vicksburg, MI 49097
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.
St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church
5855 East W Ave
Vickksburg, MI 49097
Heritage Community of Kalamazoo
2300 Portage Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
A true and loyal man, Paul “Jim” Fleckenstein devoted his life to serving his family. He accomplished so many things of which to be proud, but his greatest source of pride and joy was found in his family. He was an active member of the Catholic church he loved and made many wonderful friendships over the years both there and with his fellow workers at General Motors. Mostly known for his grilling skills during the summer, he was also known for his Thanksgiving turkey with special stuffing and his winter-time Crockpot masterpiece of pepper steak! Although he will be deeply missed, Jim leaves behind countless memories to touch the lives of his loved ones forever.
Looking back on the 1930s, it is difficult to recall much of anything that wasn’t affected by the Great Depression. There were few jobs and a soaring unemployment rate that left countless American families without homes. Despite these tough times, Paul and Norine (Simonds) Fleckenstein celebrated with great joy the arrival of their newborn baby boy, Paul James on May 28, 1935, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was the first born, later joined by his younger brother, Tom. His birth brought his parents much happiness and promise.
Growing up in Kalamazoo, Jim lived a typical childhood. Back in the days when playing ball in the street was popular, he and his neighborhood friends were known to play baseball until being called in for dinner! He attended school in Kalamazoo at St. Josheph’s and Kalamazoo Central High School. He later joined the National Guard, and unsurprisingly, enlisted in the United States Army. He proudly spent a year serving the country he loved.
But he’d never forgotten about his close friend’s little sister, Evon Prentice, who’d caught his eye all the way back in high school! He and Evon were married on November 24, 1967. Together they raised four wonderful children; Kim, Sue, Brian, and Cindy. Nothing brought him greater joy than his role as a father, step-father and adoptive father to each of them. A good provider and strong role model, he spent a remarkable thirty-two years with General Motors to ensure they had everything they needed in life. He wished for nothing more than their individual successes.
Although his role as a father was important to him, nothing prepared his heart for the arrival of his six grandchildren; Trevor, David, Devin, Abby, Dana, and Ella! He savored each and every moment with them. With them, he continued his tradition of a spirited reading of “The Night Before Christmas” he had done with his own children, and insisted that gifts were opened one at time to make sure that he could see each and every one. However, with his unique sense of humor, April Fool’s Day was arguably his favorite holiday, as he loved to pull pranks on his devoted family members – something he and his own father had always done! Jim treasured their many special memories as a family and was enamored when he was blessed with his great granddaughter, Rhylee. Often sharing in each of their many special celebrations over the years, it was no secret that family meant the world to him.
Never one to remain idle, Jim held many special interests over the years including puttering in his garage and yard and playing with his Bassett hounds. Everyone knew his favorite football team as he often sported many Notre Dame shirts and hats! A true fan, he attended many games in South Bend, and collected a large amount of Fighting Irish relics that he was happy to display for others to admire. In addition to his football souvenirs, he also had an extensive collection of model airplanes and he was an avid NASCAR fan. When he wasn’t busy preparing for the next season of hunting or out fishing, two of his most favorite pastimes, he was planning a trip! Jim absolutely without a doubt loved to travel. Each year, he piled the family into the car and criss-crossed the country. One of his favorite areas were the western states, where he once liked to hunt, as well as fond memories of his time in Hawaii. When he wasn’t travelling, he often tried his luck at the local casino.
Sadly, Jim passed away and leaves behind a rich legacy of being a family man whose commitment to each of them was second to none. There is no doubt that his memories will be cherished for generations to come.
Paul “Jim” Fleckenstein, of Vicksburg passed away on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 at the age of 82. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Evon; four children: Kim (Richard) Jones, of Coldwater; Susan (John) Sterling, of North Carolina; Brian (Michelle) Fleckenstein, of Vicksburg; and Cindy Lockwood, of Vicksburg; six grandchildren: Trevor Kiel, David Jones, Devin Jones, Abby Lockwood, Dana Lockwood, and Ella Lockwood; and one great granddaughter: Rhylee Jones. He also is survived by one brother, Tom (Marilyn) Fleckenstein, of Florida; brother-in-law and sister-in-law: Jack (Pat) Prentice, of Parchment; and nieces and nephews: Cammy and Kevin Fleckenstein; Mark and Jeff Prentice.
A funeral service will be held on Monday at 11AM at the Life Story Funeral Home, 409 S. Main St, Vicksburg MI (269-649-1697). The family will receive friends on Monday one hour prior to the service starting at 10am. Please visit Jim’s webpage at www.lifestorynet.com where you can sign the guestbook, and share a memory. Those who wish, may make a contribution to the Heritage Community of Kalamazoo, Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan, and/or St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church.