James Dunn, Jr.

James Woodrow Dunn, Jr., 86, of Charlotte, Michigan passed peacefully into the arms of his waiting Savior Wednesday, November 22, 2023.

A devoted husband and father, James (Jim) was married to Janet (Cole) for nearly 70 years. They raised three children of whom he was very proud. The family travelled the country with their pop-up camper, eventually visiting 46 of the 48 continental states. They often camped in Michigan, too, especially enjoying a favorite fishing spot in Mesick and visits to Hartwick Pines.

He was proud to have coached his son Jim’s Peewee League baseball team for several years and he loved to roam the sidelines of Charlotte High School football games, especially when Jim was on the team.

James retired from Fisher Body, Lansing, having risen from line worker and union rep through promotion to supervisor.
He was born May 21, 1937, in Greene County, Tennessee to James Woodrow and Loretta (Ball) Dunn. He had two sisters and two brothers. The family moved to Michigan, and he attended school in Lansing until 8th grade when a move to West Windsor put him in the Charlotte school district. It was there that he and Janet met and fell in love. A couple of years later, when his family moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, they continued their courtship long distance until Janet took the train there in December of 1953 and they were married January 10, 1954. Soon, they moved to Lansing and James started working at Fisher Body June 1, 1955.

Shortly after their first child, Cheryl, was born in 1958 they moved to Charlotte where they remained for the rest of James’s life. Daughter Carrie (Smith) was born in 1960 and son James Woodrow Dunn III was born in 1962. Family life over the years included long Sunday drives, morel mushroom hunting in the spring, summer frolics in the backyard pool and large, prolific gardens every year from which the family ate all year long.

James and Janet travelled extensively after their kids left home. They went to Hawaii to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They drove cross-continent to Alaska in their van over several weeks, and they wintered in Port Charlotte, Florida for many years. They finished the 47th and 48th continental states, so that they could say they’d been in every one of the United States.

The special pride and joy of grandparenting came to James’s life in 1988 when Curtis Kalleward was born, followed in 1990 by James Woodrow Dunn IV, Sarah Dunn in 1994 and Eliza Bychek in 1997. James and Janet reveled in numerous outings with their grands through the years—visiting zoos and museums, going camping, fishing, playing games and reading endless stories. In 2020, James delighted in becoming a great grandpa to Elizabeth Dunn and to Coulson Kalleward in 2021.

James was proud of the life he built with his family and the relationships he maintained with his extended family. He regularly attended Chester Gospel Church and believed deeply in the salvation of Christ, as learned from his beloved mother, Loretta.

James was preceded in death by his parents, James and Loretta (Ball) Dunn and sisters, Joyce Norton and June Haynes. He is survived by his wife, Janet (Cole), daughters, Cheryl Dunn Bychek, Carrie Smith (Steve) and son, Jim (Cheryl). Also surviving are brothers, MC (Maxine) and Jerry (Cordelia); aunts, Geneva (Ball) Foshee and Charlene (Hayes) Ball; grandchildren, Curtis Kalleward (Celeste), Jimmy Dunn (Theresa), Sarah Dunn and Eliza Bychek; great-grandchildren, Elizabeth Dunn and Coulson Kalleward and numerous nieces and nephews.

A visitation took place on Wednesday, November 29, 2023 at Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte. A memorial service was held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 30 at Pray Funeral Home. Memorial donations may be made in James’s memory to Chester Gospel Church, Charlotte, Michigan. The funeral was webcast so you may watch it from any computer, smartphone, or mobile device that has internet access. Go to www.prayfuneral.com, click on Jim’s tribute, then click on Photos and Videos from your computer (or Media from your smart phone).