James Lantrip

James Lantrip, 81, of Battle Creek went to be with his Lord and Savior at 12:15 a.m. on Wednesday, July 6, 2005. During his recent illness his loving wife and family constantly surrounded him.

Jim was born on December 13, 1923 in Cave-in-Rock, Illinois to Reed and Bessie (Beavers) Lantrip, who are deceased. As an only child, Jim stayed in his hometown until he was 19, when he moved to Battle Creek to work at Duplex Printing.

In 1943 he joined the United States Army and left for basic training at Camp Robinson Arkansas. He was in the 28th Infantry Division, Company I. In 1944, he was sent to Cardiff, South Wales and then to England for specialized training. He served in combat in France, during W W II until he was wounded and flown back to the 52nd General Hospital in Kidderminster, England.

He spent 50 days in the hospital recovering from his wounds. Jim received the Purple Heart and never returned to combat. He returned to Fort McClellan Alabama and in 1946 he received an honorable discharge from the United States Army.

In April 1946, while at Fort McClellan, he met Evelyn (Jean) Vise and it was love at first sight. They married three months later and would have celebrated 59 years of marriage on July 10, 2005. They moved back to Michigan where Jim worked at Eaton Manufacturing and then he spent over 30 years in the car business, Jim retired as Used Car Manager from Heritage Chevrolet in December of 1986. After retirement they moved to Winter Haven, Florida where they had visited for many years previous. In 2001 they moved back to Battle Creek.

Jim played and managed slow pitch softball (pitcher) for several years and was also a basketball player and coach, both in the church and city leagues. He was awarded a trophy for having the highest batting average in the city league in the 1970's. In 1975 Jim had a massive heart attack while playing and managing a softball team. After returning to the softball field the following season he pitched a no hitter.

After that, Jim played softball for a while before throwing in the bat and changing to golf, a sport he grew to love over the years. Jim continued to play golf regularly and enjoyed spending time golfing with family and friends at Cedar Farms and Oakland Hills.

Jim's faith sustained him through many years of medical problems and he was an inspiration to all that met him. More than anything, Jim enjoyed being in the company of his family, joking around, always keeping his sense of humor. His family so enjoyed hearing him play the harmonica, as he did so well.

Jim continually gave all the praise to the Lord Jesus Christ for keeping him all of these years. Jim was active in church and had been Sunday School Superintendent at Church of God and Glad Tidings Assembly. He also attended First Assembly of God and upon moving back to Battle Creek attended Dexter Lake Church of God.

Jim is survived by son, Ron (Sue Ann) Lantrip of Saint Augustine, Florida, daughters, Bonnie (Gene) Wiedmeyer, and Sue (Bill) Crawford, of Battle Creek. He is also survived by eight grandchildren: Eric (Sarah) Lantrip of Graz, Austria, Alannah Lantrip of Saint Augustine, Florida, Kerri (Jamie) VandenHeuval of Jacksonville, Florida, Traci Cederberg of Gobles, Michigan, Rich (Kathy) Stanley, Tim (Marcie) Stanley, Kelli (Johnny) Toledo, Jamie Hancock and Erin Hancock all of Battle Creek.

Great joy was brought to him by his great-grandchildren, Cory and Haley Gray, Katelyn, Tanner, Collin, Nicholas and Brooklynn Stanley all of Battle Creek, Luke, Lisa and Leanne Lantrip of Graz, Austria and Jordan and Kylee Sue VandenHeuvel of Jacksonville, Florida. Jim is also survived by other Extended family members including Albert and Emma Barger, Morris and Ann Vice, Jim Vice and many nieces and nephews and cousins.

Visitation for Jim will be Thursday from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Farley-Estes & Dowdle Funeral Home at 105 Capital Avenue Northeast, where family will be present.

Services will be held at the funeral home, Friday at 9:00 a.m. with the Reverends Morris Vice and Leon Rayburn officiating.

Burial will follow at Fort Custer National Cemetery.

Family requests that memorial contributions be made to: Eric Lantrip, c/o Missions Office, BBFI, Post Office Box 191, Springfield, Missouri 65801.

Source: Battle Creek Enquirer (MI) - July 7, 2005


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