McGivern, James T. (Jim)
Bay City, Michigan
James (Jim) Thomas McGivern, 76, lost his battle with cancer and joined his savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, on June 14, 2020. He was surrounded by his family and wife of 50 years, Arlene (Sochacki) McGivern. He was blessed with a marriage that blended a family of two daughters and one son. He is survived by those children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Kim Michael Lederer, his former wife of 26 years, Dawn Lederer, and three grandchildren; Destiny Grzegorczyk, and great granddaughter Serenity, 11; Zachary Lederer (Olivia) and great granddaughter, Zoey, 3: and Chance Lederer.
Amy Kay Chevalier and three grandchildren, Tabatha McGivern; Shawn Chevalier and great grandson, Gavin, 3: and Hope Chevalier and great granddaughter Vivienne, 3.
Starr Ann (Miller) Thomas (Robert) and three grandchildren; Mark Miller, Jr. (Natasha) and great grandson Jiovonni, 10 Months; and Mariah Stender (William) and great grandson William Wallace Stender V, the most recent precious addition; and Brittany Kunkel (Steve) and great grandchildren Leah, 7, and Lelan, 3.
Jim was predeceased by his parents Thomas McGivern and Linda McGivern (Pacholke); brother Wayne McGivern, brother-in-law David Emme and former son-in-law Mark Miller Sr. He is survived by his brother Lynn McGivern and sister Sally Dice; Jim also joins in heaven a daughter Kelly who died at birth.
It has been said that some people work to live—Jim McGivern lived to work. If anyone can be described as a self-made man it was Jim McGivern. Not fond of formal education, in 1961 at the age of 17 he joined the 101st Airborne Division, the famed Screaming Eagles. He was honorably discharged in 1965. He joined the Bay City Light Department where he worked for thirty plus years, and where he was principally responsible for the River of Lights during Bay City’s Christmas celebration. Not content with one job, he created A & J tree Removal and J & J Electric, working with small crews outside his day job.
Jim retired from the Bay City Light Department in 2000, but retirement was not in his nature; he continued his tree removal and electric business, finally retiring after 35 years and multiple injuries that would have forced a less determined man to quit. When Hurricane Katrina ravaged the South, he left home with a small crew and for weeks aided in tree removal and electrical support. He would continue to answer the call of duty for any national disaster that needed his service.
Though raising a family, having a day job, and supervising two companies would exhaust most men, Jim managed to find time to play in several bands. He learned to play the guitar, drums, saxophone, keyboard, fiddle, and harmonica, as well as act as vocalist.
In his later years he found peace and salvation through his church and his Bible. He accepted Jesus into his heart, sang and played in his church, and imitated Christ in his selfless willingness to help family and friends and those in need. He never lost his impish sense of humor. He will be sorely missed by family and those who were privileged to know him.
A Memorial Service will take place 2:00 p.m. Saturday, June 20th at the Apostolic Life Church of Bay City, 3360 Midland Road, Bay City, Michigan 48706. Friends may visit with the family at the church on Saturday from 1:00 p.m. until time of service at 2:00 p.m.
Any memorials should be directed to the family.
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