James Michael Putnam Sr.
1955 - 2020
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Putnam , James Michael Sr. 10/3/1955 - 7/24/2020 Jim spent his last days at his favorite place on earth: his home. He was surrounded by his family as he entered the glorious presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on Friday, July 24, 2020. Jim was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on October 3rd, 1955 to George and Mary Putnam. His legacy will be carried on by his wife of 34 years, Kristen Ann (Van Putten) Putnam, his children, Daniele (Steve) Morgan, Alisha Prusinski, Kayleigh (Joe) Boston, and James (Shelby) Putnam Jr.; his sisters Linda (Doug) Parker and Teresa Putnam; his mother and father in law, Colleen and Gordon VanPutten; his brothers and sister in laws, Gordy (Edie) VanPutten, Cathy (Jim) Warmelink & Beth (Tom) Antor; and many cherished nieces, nephews, friends and neighbors. Jim was the proud Grandpa to 10 beautiful grandchildren: Braedon Boston, Emma Morgan, Katherine Boston, Drew Morgan, Karielle Boston, Liam Putnam, Liliana Boston, Nora Morgan, Landen Putnam & Juliette Boston. Children are a gift from the Lord, and Jim received a gift every year for the past 9 years. Jim proudly served in the US Army 101st Airborne Division. He then worked 33 years at GM 36th Street where he made many life-long friends. He retired in 2009 and continued to serve his family on their property in Cedar Springs. Cutting wood was a way of life for Jim, and if he wasn't doing that, you'd find him grilling, fixing a car, or spoiling the kids. The candy dish was always full, and if you were in need, he was there bright and early. The door was never locked, and there was always plenty of food for everyone to come for dinner. He and Kristen were the first to bust a move on the dance floor at weddings, they planted a garden every season, and even reintroduced horses to the property in 2018 (The Grandkid Corral). Jim had a nickname for every pet they owned and hunted his property every year. His favorite part of deer season was his annual Hunters Breakfast, and of course, the snacks out in the blind with the kids. Jim had a love for fireworks, catering, woodworking and sports. He was known as the "Donut Man" at the Cancer Center and even served on the PFAC counsel where he provided insight for improving patient and family care. (For instance, "Why aren't you serving popcorn during chemo?") Jim was preceded in death by his parents, his brother (George "Bud" Putnam Jr.), and his neighbor and friend of 32 years, Richard (Dick) Pike. The family is planning a Celebration of Life for a future date, taking time & care in the planning process just like Jim would have. In lieu of flowers, please email keepswingingthebat@gmail.com to learn about a cause close to his heart. We also encourage you to post a favorite, joy-filled memory to social media with the hashtag #JimPutnam2020 #GoBigOrGoHome


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Published in Grand Rapids Press from Jul. 29 to Jul. 30, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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18 entries
August 3, 2020
My condolences to the Putnam family. Jim and I ate lunch together ever day at GM. He set up my retirement party at work, classy guy for sure. Met up at many football games too.
A fellow veteran, he will be missed. RIP Jim.
Jack Blauwkamp
Coworker
August 2, 2020
Toni Clay
Friend
August 1, 2020
Our condolences to Kristen and family. Heaven truly gained one of the best. Jim was always encouraging, uplifting, and shared the best stories. He always put a smile on all the kid’s faces and we are forever grateful to have been blessed to know Jim and his beautiful family.
The Szczepanek Family
Friend
July 31, 2020
My condolences on your loss, Kristen, and all your family. May your hearts be blessed with wonderful memories of joyful times when you gather to celebrate Jim's life together.
Gay Stockton
Family
July 31, 2020
A man I truly respected and a good friend. Someone who is always there for people. Someone I like to do things with. Someone who was there for me when my wife died of cancer. And he was fighting his own struggles at the same time. He always said to us keep swinging the bat. Jim would say that to everybody at the Cancer Center about swinging the bat always upbeat always with a smile on her face. Jim lived the same way he preached. He swing that bat, until he couldn't swing it anymore. I will truly miss him and never forget him. I am truly sorry for his friends and family for their loss. He was truly one of the good guys. I always like going and watching football games with him. We always say it on the 50 yard line middle way up. He always kept me from putting my foot in my mouth. LOL I will truly miss him.
Mark Edwards
Friend
July 29, 2020
Sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. We remember the softball days when we were out at the ballfields to watch our girls play. A quiet guy who you could tell was devoted to his family. Prayers to Kristen and the family.
Maureen & Duane Nelson
Friend
July 29, 2020
I’m so heartbroken to hear of Jim’s passing such a great man, hard worker, and the best buddy a person could ask for..No matter what nothing ever got him done Condolence s to his friends and family Till we meet again RIP Putty
Deb Schullo
Friend
July 29, 2020
Loved working with you everyday For 30 years. Thanks for making it so enjoyable Jim. Love u buddy!
Rick Thurkettle
July 29, 2020
Every time He would see me He would say Their He Is, How you doing! Just such a good Man to have for all of the young ones that grew up knowing Him!
Jon
Family
July 29, 2020
First and foremost Jim was a good guy and a good guy to work with. Jim had a lot of friends both at GM and outside of work. It was a pleasure to work with him and to know him. My thoughts are with his family and friends. RIP my friend.
In sadness,
Mike Carlson
Mike Carlson
Coworker
July 29, 2020
I didn't know him long as I worked at the Cancer Center. As clock work he always had us cookies and or donuts, he will be greatly missed by all of us here at the Cancer Center
Diane Winn
Friend
July 29, 2020
Jim was a good friend for over 30 years. He was a great person. He will be missed.
Danny Lucas
Friend
July 29, 2020
I will miss you Jim. I am blessed that your Shelby's father-in-law. And what extraordinary children you have. You were always willing to help and be of service to others. I'll be seeing you again in heaven.
Angis Stein
Family
July 29, 2020
Jim was an amazing man husband father grandpa and person he loved the lord so much gonna b missed by all
Kristen Rosenberger
Friend
July 29, 2020
We are heart broken to hear of Jim's passing. He was a friend to always be there with a helping hand, a great guy. Our prayers are with you, Kristen, and your dear family.
Mitch and Barb Tousley
July 29, 2020
Jim was a quiet guy. I worked with him on the door line and around him for many years. I am sad that he has passed at so young an age. My codolences to his family. He will be missed.
Bonnie Kelly
Friend
July 29, 2020
He was such a very kind man and he always had a smile that bright up the room. Alway was there to cheer on team he never missed a football game or a track meet.
Joshua Zwinger
Friend
July 29, 2020
Jim an I rode our bikes to work with another guy but I forget his name. But it was 25 miles one way. To work I was so proud of us doing that for that summer. We laughed and talked about stupid stuff. But that’s just one of the many memories I have of Jim. RIP
Pam (Benstead). Collis
Coworker
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