TRAVERSE CITY — James “Jim” Edward Surma, 65, of Traverse City, passed away May 4, 2014, at his home. James was born on April 9, 1949, in Detroit, to the late Edward Stanley and Ramona Rita (Augustine) Surma.
As a young boy, the son of a career U.S. Naval Officer, Jim studied abroad in Paris, France, for three years. After returning to Michigan Jim attended and graduated from Divine Child in Dearborn.
He followed in his father’s footsteps and served our country honorably as a member of the United States Navy from 1968 to 1971.
Just two weeks after his discharge his sister introduced him to her best friend at nursing school. Jim courted Marcia Smith for two weeks before he proposed to her because he knew from the very beginning that she was his soul mate. On June 2, 1972, Jim and Marcia entered into marriage at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Trenton.
He then began his 38-year career with Ford Motor Company. While with Ford he earned his bachelor’s and MBA degrees from Northwood University.
He and Marcia retired to Old Mission Peninsula in 2004, where they became active members of St. Joseph Catholic Church. He served as a Eucharistic Minister and was a devout Catholic his whole life.
In his spare time Jim loved to fish. He was a true handyman and fine carpenter. He even crafted a kayak. Jim loved to cook and also enjoyed tending to his gardens. Above all else, Jim treasured his family. He always put his wife, son and daughter first.
James was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Linda LaRose.
James is survived by his wife, Marcia; son, Scott (Anjanette) Surma, of Buffalo, N.Y.; daughter, Allison (Tim) Geiman, of Newport Beach, Calif.; grandchildren, Berkley Katheryn Surma and Cooper Jameson Surma; and sister, Roberta Coffell.
Visitation for friends and family will be held on Thursday, May 8, 2014, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Friday, May 9, 2014, at 11 a.m., at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church at Denay Hall, 13400 Center Road, with visitation held one hour prior. Family graveside services will take place at a later date at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the building fund at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church or for Mass Intentions in memory of James.
Please visit www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com to sign the online guestbook and share your condolences with the family.
The family is being served by Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.