James H. Rabbers
Starks & Menchinger Chapel - Saint Joseph
2650 Niles Rd
Saint Joseph, MI

James "Jim" Harold Rabbers received his crown of heavenly glory on Monday, Oct. 11, 2021, at 8:55 a.m. after several years of health complications due to the leukemia that he had overcome. He was 65 years old.

He was a lifelong resident of Michigan, being born in Kalamazoo, and laying down roots with his family in Stevensville. He went to high school at Lakeshore High School in Stevensville where he enjoyed playing baseball and engaging in as much social interaction as he could muster. After taking some time off of school and living on his own for a while, Jim went to Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. While at college he participated and officiated many intramural sports, all along the way making strong and lasting friendships with the people he came across.

Unable to find suitable teaching positions after college, Jim was introduced to selling insurance by a friend of his. The aspect of building relationships with people and earning their trust played right to Jim's strengths. He would go on to work for several insurance agencies including Metropolitan Life, Countryside, and Aid Association for Lutherans (which later became Thrivent).

Jim met his wife, Mary, through playing volleyball and softball at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Stevensville. Mary had just arrived at St. Paul's as a new teacher. Their mutual love of sports and competitive nature quickly took hold and they were married in August of 1986. They would be blessed with four children: Derek Rabbers (Claire), Chelsea Rabbers, Megan Spaude (Jason), and Travis Rabbers. They would also be blessed with three grandchildren: Wesley, Jay and Samuel Rabbers.

Jim was an avid sports fan able to hold conversation and know statistics and figures on a myriad of athletes and games, including his beloved University of Michigan Wolverines. He greatly enjoyed playing baseball, volleyball, table tennis, and many other sports. He and his family garnered many memories on family trips across the country. He had a great love and appreciation for this country. His true gift and pastime was engaging with people and truly knowing and showing care for them. He was generous to a fault, especially when it came to the church and education.

He is survived by his wife, four children, daughter and son-in-law, three grandchildren, his brothers: Thom (Rhonda) Rabbers and Dan (Diana) Rabbers, his sisters: Susan (Robert) Vandervliet and Jodi Rabbers, as well as many extended family members.

A funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 2673 W. John Beers Road, Stevensville. Burial will take place at Hickory Bluff Cemetery. Friends may visit with the family on Saturday, Oct. 16, from 9 a.m. until the time of the service at the church.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 2673 W. John Beers Road, Stevensville or Michigan Lutheran High School, 615 E. Marquette Woods Road, St. Joseph.

Those wishing to leave an online condolence may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com. Arrangements have been entrusted to Starks & Menchinger Chapel & Cremation Services, 269-556-9450.

Published by The Herald-Palladium on Oct. 12, 2021.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church - Stevensville
2673 W. John Beers Rd., Stevensville, MI
St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church - Stevensville
2673 W. John Beers Rd., Stevensville, MI
Funeral services provided by:
Starks & Menchinger Chapel - Saint Joseph
Add a Message

Not sure what to say?

4 Entries
Erin Hanke
October 15, 2021
So very sorry for your loss Mary! Jim really was a great guy and I'm sure will be sorely missed by many people.
Susan Van den Heuvel
October 14, 2021
So sorry to hear about Jim's passing. Played many neighborhood sports with Jim and is brothers and sister while growing up in Stevensville.
Gerry and Chris Weingart
October 13, 2021
Jodie and family, Sorry to hear about Jim always remember him as a great baseball player and great guy who had the best smile. God bless all of you in the time of sorrow.
M Woods
October 12, 2021
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 results