TRAVERSE CITY — How do you pack the beautiful, funny, wild, caring, compassionate, creative, loud, loving, laughing, happy life of James Patrick Draplin into this little space? It doesn’t do the man justice. Our dad was front page material.
James Patrick Draplin came into this world on Feb. 1, 1943 and made a first-class exit on Oct. 13, 2013. He was the son of Joseph and Josephine; brother to Robert (Christine, dec.) and Thomas (Barbara); husband of 43 years to our beautiful mom, Lauren; dad to Aaron, Sarah, Emily (dec.) and Leah; and uncle to many. He was honorary dad to Pat, Mary, Mike, Terry, Kevin, Melodie, Christine, Leigh and Jacob and honorary grandpa to Jordan, Shelby and Jake. He was the proud, beaming Papa to the light of his life, our little Oliver James.
He was a friend to everyone. You, too.
Jim sold tools for a living, played Santa for kids, schools, companies and hospice to the point where he reached the upper echelon and played the downtown Traverse City gig, junked the finest of second hand stores, cut his “killer pizza” with gigantic scissors, rooted for the ‘Wings, Wolverines, Tigers and even the Lions, shared an extensive catalog of jokes, gave out free beer chips at the Cedar Polka Fest, always had a hundred beers in the ‘fridge, gave wrong directions to Fudgies at the Cherry Festival, foraged for Petoskey stones, never quite figured out his damn cellphone, decorated elaborate wedding cakes, displayed masterful Moby Kowalski diving techniques, slathered wood glue on everything, grabbed enough mints to fill his pocket, held and kissed all the babies, knew how to ferret out a good deal, donated to those in need, traveled with and to see his children, collected a little bit of everything and hated paying for taxes, parking, gas and ice.