Prayer service planned for Martin native Jim McGuire

Martin native Jim McGuire died Friday, May 28. He was 84.

He was born March 14, 1937, to Bernard and Mildred (Brown) in Martin. The oldest of nine children, Jim spent long hours on the family farm in Martin. His grandparents and parents instilled a Catholic faith by being one of the families who attended the Watson Township Sacred Heart Church for several generations. The McGuires were a large, close-knit family who were proud of their Irish heritage.

Jim excelled at high school sports in football, basketball and track. One of the many highlights was running the 880-yard race in the state finals track meet in Lansing in 1954.

Jim married his Martin High School sweetheart, Joyce DeKam, in 1955. They shared 27 years together raising five children. They spent weekends at their family cabin in White Cloud, camping adventures at Miller Lake and other destinations around the country. Jim also loved to venture out on hunting and fishing trips with his family.

Jim spent 27 years working at Fuller/Eaton Corporation as a machinist until the plant closed, forcing him to to take up a car sales position. He first went to work at Gilmore Auto Dealership  and then acquired his own dealership license to start McGuire’s Auto Sales in Scotts. He retired in 2019.

Jim then married Carol Slaughter and they were a couple for the next 40 years. Jim bought property in the countryside of Kalamazoo, where he built a home and developed an estate that contained three ponds.

Jim and Carol spent a good portion of their time traveling to cheer on their grandchildren at sporting events and other school activities. Jim and Carol also enjoyed traveling and spending winters at their home in Florida.

Carrying on the Irish heritage, Jim joined the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Kalamazoo. He soon began inviting his children, grandchildren and rest of the family to join him that established the McGuires as one of the long standing parade participants.

Surviving are his wife, Carol Slaughter; children Christie (Curt) Fontaine, Douglas (Kasandra) McGuire, Jimmy (Kumi) McGuire, Ken (Melinda) Slaughter, Tim (Lori) Slaughter. Other members of his family include several grandchildren, great grandchildren and seven brothers and sisters.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Joyce McGuire, his sons Steve and Michael McGuire, and a sister, Mary.

Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 3 at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900 where a prayer service will be held at 8 pm. Private burial services will be held at the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Watson Township.

Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice.

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