Life Story Visitation
Thursday, June 3, 2021
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Raise a glass and share food, drinks and stories.
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.
To a charity of your choice
Life Story / Obituary
Deeply committed to his family and friends, Jim McGuire will be remembered as a fun loving person who enjoyed life to the fullest. Jim never met a stranger, striking up a conversation with everyone he came across. Although he will be deeply missed, Jim leaves behind wonderful memories for all who knew and loved him.
The Thirties was marked by tough economic times, but a few lasting memories marked the year in 1937. Amelia Earhart attempted a flight around the world and California’s Golden Gate Bridge was completed. That was also the year Bernard and Mildred (Brown) McGuire welcomed home their first born son, James Albert McGuire, on March 14th in Martin, Michigan.
Born the oldest of nine children, Jim spent long hours on the family farm in Martin where he learned the value of hard work. His grandparents and parents instilled a Catholic faith by being one of the families who attended the Watson Township Sacred Heart Church for several generations. The McGuires were a large, close-knit family who were proud of their Irish Heritage. Needless to say there was never a dull moment around the McGuire household! Active and outgoing, Jim excelled at high school sports where he played on the football, basketball, and track team in Martin. One of the many highlights was running the 880 yard dash in the state finals track meet in Lansing, Michigan in 1954.
In 1955, Jim married his Martin High School sweetheart, Joyce DeKam. Jim and Joyce shared many memorable times during their twenty-seven years together raising five children. Jim encouraged his children to work hard and compete in sports while in school. He coached them in youth sports and later enjoyed cheering them on from the sidelines. When Jim was not busy working, he valued spending quality time with his wife and children. They spent weekends at their family cabin in White Cloud, camping adventures at Miller Lake and other destinations around the country. Jim also loved to venture out on hunting and fishing trips with his family and friends, teaching his children the thrill of all kinds of outdoor adventures.
Jim spent twenty-seven years working at Fuller/Eaton Corporation as a machinist until the plant closed its doors. The closure forced Jim to begin a new chapter in his life taking up a car sales position. He first went to work at Gilmore Auto Dealership where he learned the tricks of the trade that eventually inspired him to acquire his own dealership license. He enjoyed the excitement to discover the next big deal at the auto auctions and grow his own dealership McGuire's Auto Sales in Scotts, MI. His ability to connect easily with others grew a successful business that he enjoyed well into his 80's when he retired the business in 2019.
In this new chapter of life, Jim met Carol Slaughter while golfing and the two of them hit it off right from the start. They enjoyed each other’s company so much and began a life together that spanned the next forty years. Jim bought property in the countryside of Kalamazoo, where he built a home and developed an estate that contained three ponds. Jim and Carol both loved to work in the yard where they prided themselves to keep their property alive with lavish landscape, beautiful flowers and garden. Jim especially loved to grow a large crop of cucumbers each year and use his mother's family recipe to make pickles to hand out to family and friends. Jim spent many hours prepping, stocking and grooming his ponds as a fishing haven. This became a fun retreat for all the grandchildren he was blessed to call his. He found so much joy teaching them how to fish and spending many special moments together eating, talking and laughing at his party barn he built next to one of his ponds on the estate. Any time that Jim was surrounded by his family and good friends, his heart was content. He loved to entertain and host countless fish fries over the years.
When they were not working on the yard, Jim and Carol spent a good portion of their time traveling to cheer on their grandchildren at sporting events and other school activities. Jim and Carol also enjoyed traveling together and spending winters at their home in Florida.
Carrying on the Irish heritage, Jim also loved joining in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Kalamazoo. He soon began inviting his children, grandchildren, and rest of the family to join him that established the McGuires as one of the long standing parade participants.
On Friday, May 28, 2021 at the age of 84, Jim McGuire died with Carol and his children by the bedside. Members of his family include his wife Carol Slaughter; Children: Christie (Curt) Fontaine, Douglas (Kasandra) McGuire, Jimmy (Kumi) McGuire, Ken (Melinda) Slaughter, Tim (Lori) Slaughter. Other members of his family include several grandchildren, great grandchildren and 7 brothers and sisters. He was preceded in death by his first wife Joyce McGuire, his sons Steve and Michael McGuire, and a sister Mary.
Sadly, Jim is gone, but the many memories will remain in the hearts of all who knew and loved him. Jim's fun loving, good nature hospitality will be what his family will remember the most by keeping the Irish eye's a smiling!
Visit with family and friends while sharing food and drinks on Thursday, June 3 from 6-8 PM at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900 where a Prayer Service will be held at 8 pm. Private burial services will be held at the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Watson Twp. Please visit Jim’s personal web page at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice.