James Allen DeWitt

May 26, 1938March 10, 2019

James Allen DeWitt passed away March 10th 2019 at the age of 80 surrounded by his family.

Jim was born on May 26, 1938 in Buchanan, Michigan, the only child of Claude and Irene.

He grew up in Niles, Michigan where he worked on the family farm and at his Father’s nursery business. In his junior and senior years of high school he played the cello and was a member of the Senior High School Orchestra where he won a scholarship to Interlochen Music Camp which he attended for 2 weeks each summer and played in the All State Orchestra. He enjoyed listening to and played several stringed instruments.

He proudly served his country in the Army; 2 years in ROTC at MSU; Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri – Top honor for Highest Score in the Final Proficiency Exam, Highest Score on the Rifle Range qualifying as an Expert Marksman and Honor Graduate as outstanding trainee; Fort Gordon, Georgia- signal school as Radio Relay and Carrier Operator, honor graduate; Fort Benning, Georgia and back to 4/20th Reserve Center in Lansing, Michigan.

While attending MSU he worked as a student employee in the Department of Campus Park & Planning. He was involved in building a scale model board showing every building on campus. This was presented to President John Hannah and was on display in the MSU Administration Building for several years. He graduated from MSU in 1962, with a degree in Landscape Architecture. After graduating, Jim worked for MSU Campus Park & Planning located in the Manley Miles Building until the spring of 1965.

He was employed at Rieth-Riley Construction Company in 1965 – December 1984. In 1974 became Lansing Area Superintendent for Rieth-Riley until their closure in 1984: Engineer for General Motors, Lansing from January 1985 – until his retirement in December 2005. During time at GM he was Treasurer of GM Supervisor Council and Chair of GM Fund Raising Committee.

He enjoyed spending time with family and friends at their cottage in Northern Michigan; fishing, riding their jet skis, being on their pontoon, snowmobiling, ice fishing and hunting.

He was Silver Lake Dune & Recreation Club President, GLAHA coach and President, Red Cedar Community Association board member and President.

He was an avid fan of MSU’s Hockey team and Football team where he held season tickets for both teams for several years.

Surviving Jim are his wife Jan of 54 years, their two children and four grandsons. Jim was extremely proud of his family and their accomplishments.

Per Jim’s request there will be no service or funeral. To honor his wishes however, the family would like to have a “Remembering Jim” luncheon to be announced at a future date.

In lieu of flowers we ask that donations be made to The Red Cross, Sparrow Hospice of Lansing, The National USO or Visiting Angels of Okemos.


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

James Allen DeWitt

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Gloria Dokum

March 17, 2019

Dear Jan and family
Eugene and I were sadden to hear of Jim's passing. We have so many fond memories of our hockey days traveling with the team Jim coached that Brian had the opportunity to play on. Keeping the family in our thoughts and prayers for peace and comfort during this most difficult time.

Eugene and Gloria Dokum

Mike Braem

March 14, 2019

Jan - I had lunch with Fred today and he told me the sad news. I'm so sorry to hear of this (54 years of marriage - wow!), and prayers and thoughts of comfort are heading your way. Mike

Pamela Cline

March 14, 2019

Dear Jan and family,
It's been a long time, but just wanted to let you know the Hunter family from First Christian Church are lifting prayers to God for you all.
We remember fondly of 3 adults and 3 children on their laps going on the dune buggy with Jim and being scared out of our wits! We all laughed when it was over.
We pray your memories of Jim will sustain you during this difficult time.

Terry Swick

March 13, 2019

Jim and I were neighbors and friends for many years. He was like an older brother that shared his wisdom and a listening ear when you needed it most.
I always marveled at his ability to build and fix just about anything. His humor was unsurpassed especially when we tried to "out-prank" one another over the years. Sometimes our wives and neighbors must have thought we escaped from the local nursery school.
My best to his family as Jim will be missed by all that had the privilege to know him. He made the world a better place.
May God bless and care for him.

Tina Munro

March 13, 2019

Dear Jan and family

I am so sad to hear about Jim. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. May god help you through this sad time. If there is anything I can do, please feel free to reach out to me.

Janean Karpus

March 12, 2019

Jan, Todd, Dawn and grandsons.... I'm so sorry for your loss. My heart is heavy with grief. I have such fond memories of Jim! He had such a quick wit and a great sense of humor. One of my favorite Jim-pranks (and one I have used on my own boys) is his famous "Let's see who can punch the other in the arm the softest.... you go first... "! I know he was SO proud of his family! and he was a fantastic neighbor! Jim will be missed tremendously! When I think of him, I do so with a smile on my face and in my heart. Prayers for all of you for strength and comfort.... May your happy memories help you through the difficult days ahead.... sending love to you all...

Stacie LaLonde

March 12, 2019

What a great guy !! Enjoyed visiting with him while they were in Grayling watching his grandson play soccer with my boys .. Thinking of you Todd an family 💗

Lynn Swick

March 12, 2019

Jim was a great neighbor and I will always remember our fun badminton games in our backyard with he and Jan and our family. So sorry for your loss

Mike Cavanagh

March 12, 2019

Mrs. DeWitt, Todd, Dawn, and family,

I was very sad to hear of the passing of Jim. He was a great man and one of my favorite hockey coaches of all time. I was fortunate to get to play for Mr. DeWitt both in Todd an my early days on the ice with GLAHA (The Butcher Shop) as well as at ELHS for four years. Mr. DeWitt taught me so much both on and off the ice about what it meant to be a solid, respectful young man and I will be forever grateful for the time I had with him.

Thoughts and prayers to you all.

With love,
Mike C.