Elton Black & Son Funeral Home

1233 Union Lake Road, White Lake, MI


James L. Cnossen Jr.

May 21, 1964July 9, 2019

On Tuesday, July 9, 2019, James L. Cnossen, Jr., loving husband, father, grandfather, son, and brother, passed away peacefully at home in West Bloomfield, Michigan, at the age of 55, surrounded by his loving family.

Jim was born on May 21, 1964, in Dearborn, Michigan, to James L., Sr. and Mary E. (nee Doezema) Cnossen. He graduated from Inter-City Baptist High School with the class of 1982, and graduated cum laude with a Business Degree in Marketing from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 1987. Jim spent 30 years working at General Motors, 22 of which were spent internationally, and in that time traveled to 56 countries. On April 22, 2001, he married Phiona Patricia Rensburg in Paarl, Cape Town, South Africa, and adopted her four children.

Jim’s greatest passion was for his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He was involved in youth ministry and was a deacon in Dearborn, MI, led worship in China, and ministered to many others throughout his life. He loved music and was a proficient drummer. Jim had a remarkable skill of getting to know his team in such a way that he could organize them into positions in which they would thrive. He had a strong work ethic and was fiercely committed to his family. He was best known for his warm and friendly smile.

Jim was preceded in death by his mother, Mary (nee Doezema), his mother-in-law, Eva Rensburg, his first wife, Linda (nee Fowle), and his grandson, Nathan James Cnossen. He is survived by his wife Phiona, his four children, Nicole, Christopher, Kaylin (Tiffany), and Desmond, his four grandchildren, Layla, Christian, Awbry, and Juliet, his father, Jim Cnossen, Sr. (Cheryl), his sister, Cheryl (Scott) Donnelly, his sisters-in-law, Desirie Winnaar and Avril (Jerome) Nieuwveld, and his step-sister, Kirsten (Brian) Field.

Visitation will be held Sunday, July 14, 2019 from 3:00 PM until 7:00 PM at Elton Black & Son Funeral Home, 1233 Union Lake Road, White Lake. Funeral Service will be held Monday, July 15, 2019 at 12:00 PM (Visitation 11:00 AM) with luncheon to follow at the Brightmoor Christian Church, 40800 W. 13 Mile Road, Novi. Burial at Oakland Hills Memorial Gardens, Novi.


  • Visitation Sunday, July 14, 2019
  • Funeral Visitation Monday, July 15, 2019
  • Funeral Service Monday, July 15, 2019
  • Burial Monday, July 15, 2019


James L. Cnossen Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Joe Fish Clark

July 17, 2019

Loved worshipping with you and spending time with your family here in Shanghai. Now playing drums with the angels Jim. Regards Fish and family.

Tiny Daya

July 16, 2019

Dear Phiona...
Our heartfelt sympathies to you and your loving family. We will forever treasure the memories shared with Jim during his South African assignment as well as our visit to your home in Detroit. You and Jim welcomed us as part of your family. Jim always had such a positive outlook about everything in life including his illness. He was the glow in every dull moment. His passing has united many of his long lost colleagues from all over the world. Even in his absence, he is still radiating positivity at this very sad time. We pray to God for all the strength needed for you and your family.
Love Tiny, Naina, Pia DAYA

Opel IO Team

July 15, 2019

Jim was the best! We enjoyed his infectious enthusiasm, his heart felt laugh, and his professionalism. Jim enjoyed our full trust and admiration. We are very saddened to hear of the loss of our treasured friend and colleague. Our thoughts are with his loved ones.

With much love from the Opel International team in Germany

Loutfy Mansour

July 15, 2019

Dearest Phiona,
Our hearts and prayers are with you from Egypt. Jim was a beautiful sole and I personally had the pleasure of working with him. He will be missed.
My sincerest condolences.
May he Rest In Peace and May God bless his sole.

SFC(R) Keith Collins

July 14, 2019

Rest well my brother! I will never forget how you and your family treated me as if I was a part of yours. Although we loss touch, you always remained family. Tell Mom there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of her. To Cheryl and family, may God’s love comfort you and keep each one you.

Sameera Rensburg

July 14, 2019

Jim was one of those rare people that your life crosses paths with which you realize soon thereafter that this person is fundamentally good. My family and I are greatful to have known him and meant something to him.

Leslie Bublin

July 13, 2019

I met and worked with Jim while I was working at GM. We were both ex-pats for many years and always had a lot of good, similar experiences to share. I left GM in 2010 and didn't keep in touch. I remember Jim as a funny, friendly, energetic guy. I always enjoyed working with him. He will be sorely missed.

I'm wishing his family all the best during this very difficult time.


Adel Khadr

July 13, 2019

Dear Phiona,

It's with utmost sadness that we learnt of the sad demise of our friend Jim Cnossen.

All of us at Mansour Automtoive and many of us personally shared a special bond with him during your stay in Egypt. His kind and pure heart and always ready to help with a smile demeanour will remain in our memory forever.

We pray to the almighty to give you and the family courage and strength to overcome his immense loss and rest his soul in peace.

You have friends here in Egypt for life, if there is anything we can do at anytime, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Warm regards

Ankush Arora

July 13, 2019

Dear Phiona and Family

It's with utmost sadness that we learnt of the sad demise of our dear friend Jim. He was a thorough gentlemen and always ready to help anyone and everyone with a smile. His pure heart won him many friends across the globe and we will miss him. We share fond memories of your time in Egypt and both Molly and I pray to the almighty to give you and the family strength to overcome this moment of grief. May his soul rest in peace. If there is anything we can do , please remember you have friends here for life.
Warm regards
Molly & Ankush

Timothy Allen

July 12, 2019

Very saddened to learn of Jim's passing. He was by far one of the best executives I've ever served under. He once drove out into the desert in Dubai to pull my high centered 4wd off a dune on a Saturday in 120F heat so that we'd both make a business flight later that day. What other GM executive would brave the desert heat to dislodge a subordinate 4 hours before flight time? And never once uttered the words, "What were you thinking of?"


Philippians 2 New International Version (NIV)

Imitating Christ’s Humility

2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,

that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Do Everything Without Grumbling

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[c] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

Timothy and Epaphroditus

19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. 21 For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. 23 I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me. 24 And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon.

25 But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. 26 For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. 29 So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, 30 because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me.