Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Jim MacPhee

November 25, 1947 - September 11, 2020
South Haven, formerly of Portage, MI


Live Streamed Service

Friday, September 18, 2020
1:00 PM EDT
Live Stream

With everyone’s health and safety being a top priority, a private celebration of life will be held on Friday, September 18, 2020 at 1 PM. The family is inviting friends to join them for the celebration via a live Facebook feed.


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.

The Miracle League of SW Michigan
C/O of The Dome Center, PO Box 356
Schoolcraft, MI 49087

Please indicate "In Memory of Jim MacPhee"

Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Jim MacPhee passed away after a year-long battle with brain cancer at Rose Arbor Hospice, on September 11, 2020. Jim was the only child born to Irma Ruth (Nash) MacPhee and Douglas MacPhee on November 25, 1947 in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

He met the love of his life, Judy Patterson, when they were in 9th grade. Together they were a part of the first graduating class of Portage Northern High School in 1966. During his high school years he was lead singer and guitar player for the band, “The Voyagers,” with his cousin, Tom Saewert, on drums. They played at battle of the band events, weddings, high school dances, and WMU’s prom.

In 1966, without telling his mom or Judy, he voluntarily enlisted in the army. He felt it was his duty. He came home to marry Judy on Nov 4, 1967. They were married for 53 years and were the definition of unconditional love. He was the most chivalrous husband. He adored Judy and everything he did in life was for her.

His first job out of the army was at Industrial State Bank in downtown Kalamazoo. Jim Graduated from the University of Michigan Banking School. They went on to have their daughters Kimberly and Stephanie. He put his whole heart into being the very best dad. A listening ear, inspirational words, a good belly laugh; he would drop everything if they needed him.

In 1975 they moved to Schoolcraft to begin his life long career at Kalamazoo County State Bank. He worked in various roles over the course of his years at KCSB and retired as CEO in 2015. Community Banking and helping people were his life’s passions. He traveled around the country defending community banks. He served on numerous boards locally as well as nationally including chairman of the Independent Community Bankers Of America (ICBA) and chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis. Over the years, Jim met with Presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump at the White House to discuss and help them understand Community Banking. He testified in a televised congressional hearing and attended a State of the Union Address. Jim was featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal to share the inside story of community banking and its impact in small towns all over the United States.

He knew his customers by name, he knew them on a business and personal level. Throughout his years he had not only customers that needed financial advice, but just as often he had visitors sitting across his desk for life advice. He loved people, was compassionate about each person's highs and lows, and was always willing to give honest feedback or just provide a listening ear. From life long friends to new residents in town, and his daughter's friends, his door was always open.

His motto in life was ”have a little fun every day”, and he did. He loved University of Michigan football, was a big Western Michigan Bronco fan, and a loyal Schoolcraft Eagle football fan. He loved a good joke. He loved beaches, good music, and sunsets surrounded by family and friends. He loved playing golf with his league buddies at the Moore’s and being a sub at Hawkshead. He always looked forward to his annual guys golf trip with old friends.

He adored his granddaughters, Maddie and Natalie Wojcik. He glowed with pride when he talked about them. He was their biggest fan in everything they did in life.

He respected, trusted and loved his sons-in-law Jeff and Ben. They had the best time together and in his last weeks of life gave them pep talks about taking over traditions and his many life lessons.

He was a man of deep integrity and a problem solver who fought for the people and ideas he believed in with all his might; the same way he dealt with being diagnosed in September of 2019 with a grade 4 glioblastoma inoperable brain tumor. He gave this fight for his life everything he had, outliving the time predictions doctors gave him of 3-8 months, stretching it to one year. He was most worried about leaving his family behind. His strong faith in God allowed him to say repeatedly he was not afraid, but his heart wanted more time.

He is preceded in death by his mother, Irma Ruth (Nash) MacPhee; his nephew, Jeff Rodgers; his in-laws, Pat and Stella Patterson; and his brother-in-law, Gary Patterson. He is survived by his father, Douglas MacPhee age 97; wife, Judy MacPhee; daughters: Kimberly Critz (Ben) and Stephanie Wojcik (Jeff); granddaughters: Maddie and Natalie Wojcik; sister-in-law, Gloria Fay Mero (Mike); nephew, Wesley Rodgers (Mandy); niece, Leslie Buck (Harold); great-niece, Sara Rodgers; and many close cousins and life long friends.

In Jim’s memory please consider donating to a remarkable local initiative 'The Miracle League Field'. It is not just any baseball facility, but one that allows kids to hit a ball if they are blind, to throw a ball to a teammate while using a walker, and score a run while using a wheelchair to round the bases. A dream that has been two years in the making, located in Schoolcraft, Michigan. Please indicate your donation is in memory of Jim MacPhee. (https://www.swmimiracle.org/donate/). To read more about The Miracle League Field please visit their website at https://www.swmimiracle.org/

If you could also do a random act of kindness in Jim’s memory it would mean so much to his family.

With everyone’s health and safety being a top priority, a private Life Story Celebration will be held on Friday, September 18, 2020 at 1 PM. The family is inviting friends to join them for the celebration via a live Facebook feed. Please visit Jim's personal web page at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com where you may read his Life Story, archive a favorite memory or photo, and sign his online guestbook. Arrangements by Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900.