James Edward Robinette
1927 - 2020
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Robinette, James Edward 6/20/1927 - 5/17/2020 Grand Rapids ROBINETTE – James Edward Robinette, age 92, passed away Sunday, May 17, 2020 at Vista Springs Northview nursing home. He was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Pauline Robinette and brother-in-law, Richard Bennett. James is survived by his wife of 57 years, Mary Bethel Robinette; children, Ed (Alicia) Robinette, William (Sharon Vriend) Robinette, John (Karey) Robinette; grandchildren, James (Mckenna), Allan (Marah), Ashley, Anna, Sarah and Henry Robinette; brother, Burke (Helen) Robinette; sister, Janet Bennett; many nieces, nephews and cousins. Jim graduated from Rockford High School in 1945 and served in the Merchant Marine at the end of World War II. He attended Michigan State College from 1947 to 1951, graduating with a degree in horticulture. He was then drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to Korea, serving in a personnel office at Pusan during that war. Jim returned home again to the farm, where he grew peaches, cherries, and apples with his father at Robinette Orchards. He married Mary Bethel Payne on June 8, 1962, and they enjoyed almost 58 years together. Together they raised the 3 boys and built Robinette Orchards into an agritainment destination. Jim was a faithful man who served nearly all his adult life as a deacon, elder, and usher at Central Christian Church. He was always the one who led the family in prayer at every gathering. He had a sense of adventure and traveled widely. He enjoyed water skiing with his friends--even water skiing at the top of a 10-foot ladder! If you ever spent five minutes with him, you knew he was passionate about his family and its history, as well as his orchards and his gardens. Family and friends were everything to him. A memorial service will be held at a later date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Michigan State Horticultural Society, which provides monies for research and scholarships http://mihortsociety.com/trust-fund/trust-donor/ or the Alzheimer's Association Research Fund, alz.org. To share a photo, memory, and sign the family's online guestbook, please visit www.stegengafuneralchapel.com

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Published in Grand Rapids Press from May 20 to May 24, 2020.
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4 entries
May 22, 2020
So sorry to hear about Jim passing away. I always enjoyed visiting with Bethel and Jim at our class reunion. My sympathy to Bethel and all of Jims family. Sincerely, Evelyn Lonnee May. Class of 1945
Evelyn Lonnee May
May 21, 2020
Jim was a wonderful man. I always like talking to him and Bethel and freezing at the Northview track meets when our kids were performing. Thank you Jim for selling the corner of the East Beltline and 4 mile to St. Luke's Church. He was a great man!
Marilyn Mellema
May 21, 2020
When I think of Jim, my heart smiles! He will be remembered fondly. My sympathies to all of your family!
Laura Maguire
May 21, 2020
Jim was such a genuine, kind, compassionate guy...we will miss him. Jim and Bethel were among the first folks we met when we began attending MSHS meetings in the early 80's. For us non-Michiganders, Jim was a welcoming, sharing ambassador for the state and for our industry. Thank you Ed, Bill and John for sharing him with so many of us.
Ken Hall
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