James Ross Kinnaird

James Ross Kinnaird passed away on January 11, 2024 at home in Eaton Rapids, MI following a long battle with cancer and heart disease. Jim was born on December 5, 1951, in Danville, KY to Mildred Martin McCain Kinnaird and Barrington West Kinnaird. He grew up in Waynesboro, VA. As a teenager, he attended Darlington School in Rome, GA where his grandfather, James Ross McCain, served as the founding headmaster from 1905 to 1915. Jim, who bore his grandfather’s name, strove always to honor his grandfather – a man who loved education, the Lord, and service.

Jim earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Emory and Henry College and his master’s degree in labor relations from Michigan State University. He entered the U.S. Navy in 1976 where he served as a paymaster and in the supply corps. Following separation from the Navy, he continued to work in the Naval Reserves, retiring after 20 years with the rank of Commander.

Jim was employed as a Personnel Analyst for the City of Lansing in the Human Resources Department. Living on the Grand River at the time, and his office being situated near the river, Jim took pleasure in occasionally paddling a canoe to work where he would casually enter the workplace with a dripping paddle over his shoulder.

Jim loved water and being near it. His “happy place” was his family’s cottage in Virginia where he enjoyed swimming and boating. Three of the homes he owned during his lifetime had water frontage, and in his many travels, he always sought out bodies of water where he could take a boat trip.

Jim enjoyed both domestic and foreign travel. He visited 27 different countries and was excited about each one. A planned trip to Greece and Crete was canceled due to his final illness, but he undoubtedly made a quick detour there before heading to his Heavenly destination. He trekked the Camino de Santiago – the oldest pilgrimage route across Europe to Santiago de Compostela in Spain – three times.

Jim served others quietly and unobtrusively. He participated in building the first two Habitat for Humanity homes in the Lansing area. He was a 5-gallon blood donor to the American Red Cross and volunteered with them as a responder for national emergencies. He joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 701 and served on their color guard recognizing and honoring military veterans who had passed on.

Jim joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while in the US Navy. He was taught the gospel by shipmates on the USS Eisenhower where the roar of launching and returning aircraft on the flight deck often interrupted Sunday services. He had a deep faith in his Savior Jesus Christ and served faithfully in different Church responsibilities. He married his sweetheart Lisa for time and eternity in the Washington, DC Temple of the Church and they enjoyed 41 years of married life on Earth together.
Jim will be dearly missed by his wife, Elisabeth (Lisa) Gottlieb-Kinnaird; his siblings, Barrington (Barry) West Kinnaird, Jr. (Jude), Mary Scott Kinnaird Miller (Bob) and Elizabeth (Bett) Isabel Kinnaird Verbeek (Tony); nephews and nieces; special cousin, Marvine Howe; and special friend, Eric Moore.

A memorial service is planned for later in the year. Jim will be buried in Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, MI. If you wish to honor Jim, please consider a donation to the Volunteers of America or the American Pilgrims on the Camino.
The family is being served by Pray Funeral Home in Charlotte, MI.