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James Searfoss



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Family Promise of Grand Rapids

516 Cherry St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Maj. James Phillip Searfoss (ret.) died on June 28, 2021, due to complications from end-stage prostate cancer. Jim was born May 31, 1946, in a simple time and place. He was the son of Ralph and Ruth (Walterick) of Lima, Ohio. He grew to adulthood on a small farm in Northwestern Ohio. He married the love of his life, Melanie Wynne Jacobs, on September 18, 1976. This union was blessed by daughters, Jennifer, Shannon, and Caitlin. Jim was a 1969 graduate of Ohio State University and received his Master of Medical Science from Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania. He joined the U.S. Army in 1972 and served 24 years, retiring as a Major at Fort Riley, Kansas. Following his military service, Jim was an Assistant Professor and Clinical Coordinator in Physician Assistant Studies at Grand Valley State University. Jim retired as a Physician Assistant with Spectrum Health in occupational therapy. Jim is survived by his sister, Sally (Jim) Becker; brother, Jerry (Carol) Searfoss; daughters, Jennifer (Tim Huddleston) Searfoss, Shannon (Jason) Carpenter, Caitlin (Robert) Olive; grandsons, Brody and Dylan Carpenter and James and Ethan Oliver. Jim was a mid-life convert to the Democratic Party and supported progressive candidates, causes and policies. Visitation will take place from 2-4 PM & 6-8 PM on Friday, July 2, 2021, at Roth Gerst Chapel, 305 N. Hudson, Lowell, Michigan, 49331. Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 3, 2021, at Roth-Gerst Chapel, with visitation one hour prior. Pastor Karen Niemeyer officiating. Interment at Bailey Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, he requested that contributions be sent to political candidates that support policies caring for homeless families or Family Promise of Grand Rapids, 516 Cherry St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

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One Response

  1. I previously worked with Jim in occupational medicine and enjoyed it fully. He was a great guy and always wonderful to work with. I have not talked with him for over 5 years now but have frequently thought of him and wondered how he was doing with his unfortunate illness. I was very sorry to hear today from a previous fellow worker of his departure. I will miss him.

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