Cover photo for James Edward Hale's Obituary
James Edward Hale Profile Photo

James Edward Hale

January 24, 1942 — March 30, 2022

Musician, Storyteller, Craftsman, Hunter, Trapper, Fisherman, Farmer, Horseman, Father, Son, Brother, Grandpa, Uncle, and Friend James Edward Hale, more fondly known as “Big Jim”, came to the end of his life here on earth on March 30, 2022, at Lincoln Haven Nursing Home in Lincoln, Michigan. Jim was born on January 24, 1942, in upstate New York to Ruth (DeKruger) and Edward Hale. In his earlier years he spent a lot of time with his Pappy Hale on Blue Mountain Lake and other surrounding lakes in Pappy’s Adirondack Guide Boat. This is where Jim began his life-long craft of building these beautiful and historic guide boats; even traveling back to that area from Michigan later in life to harvest a Spruce stump specifically for the ribs on one of the guide boats he built. When Jim was still a young boy, he moved with his mother Ruth and two siblings to the Millington, Michigan area where Ruth eventually married Jim’s stepfather, Delbert (Dutch) Storms and added five more siblings to their family. In the early 60’s, Jim moved to the Lincoln, Michigan area where he met Josephine (Sue) Ritchie and they married in July of 1962. Together, they had four children and one from a previous relationship: Tammie (Bernard), Rusty (Kathy), Howard (Carrie), Cindy, and Coreena. Throughout Jim’s life he worked in masonry, building, farming and timbering with horses, and taxidermy. He was known to perfect each skill and hobby he set his mind to doing. For many years, before requiring more help with daily living, Jim lived two miles off the nearest county road without electricity and only a hand pump. He was incredibly resourceful and self-sustaining in all that he did, often leaving many thinking he was born at least 100 years too late. He loved sharing with his family and friends in his own way with a remarkable story or an impromptu music event with his singing, guitar, banjo, and harmonica. Jim leaves behind his five children previously listed, his grandchildren, Ashley, Russell (Chantal), Michael, Nathan (Jackie), Daniel, Kelsey (Devon), Cassandra (Jesse), Lyndsey, and Nicole; his great grandchildren, Dakota, Drake, Delilah, Gavin, Collin, Jasmine, Darin, Karlee, Lainey, and Adeline; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. He is survived by his siblings, Mary Anne (Norm), Evelyn, Ida (Charlie), Delbert (Linda), Lester (Sherry), son-in-law Randy, sister-in-law Beth, and his stepdad Dutch. He was preceded in death by his mother Ruth, sister Emmy Lou, his brother Joe, brother-in-law Joe December, and the mother of his children, Josephine (Sue) Hale. Arrangements are being handled by Gillies Funeral Home in Lincoln, Michigan for a private viewing by family. A public memorial picnic is being planned for this summer and will be announced later. Memorials or donations can be made to any foundation/group supporting Diabetes Education, Hospice Compassus, or Jim’s family. To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Edward Hale, please visit our flower store.


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