James W. Lacker

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James W. Lacker, age 92, passed away peacefully on June 27, 2018, at home in Gaylord, Michigan in the company of his loving family supported by his tender caregivers from Hospice of Michigan and The Brook.

Jim was born in Saginaw, Michigan on February 26, 1926 to Albert and Esther Lacker (née Zoellner), the oldest of two sons. He grew up in Saginaw, graduating from Arthur Hill High School in 1943, and soon after joined the U.S. Navy. Jim proudly served as a signalman with the U.S. Navy’s Armed Guard from 1944-1946 across both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans during WWII. After the War he studied accounting and became an auditor for Standard Oil in Saginaw where he met the love of his life, Margaret Donaghy. The couple were married on May 14, 1955 in Saginaw. Jim soon transferred to Detroit then in early 1963 the couple moved to Gaylord with their 3 small children into an old farmhouse they would fully restore and live in for more than 50 years. After 21 years with Standard Oil Jim went to work with the Gaylord State Bank where he was employed for 16 years, retiring as Vice-President and Controller.

Jim was preceded in death by Margaret, his wife of 62 years. The two were not apart long as she departed less than one year ago. He was also preceded by his only brother Bill, of Saginaw, who passed away in December.  Jim is survived by children Peter (Micki) of Dallas, Texas, daughter Jenny (Rick) Diebold of Ellsworth, Michigan and son Tom (Cynthia) of Bradenton, Florida. He is also survived by six admiring grandchildren, Katie, Rick, Karin, Courtney, Eric and Isabel as well as 3 great-grandchildren.

For 55 years Jim was a faithful and active member of the First United Methodist Church of Gaylord where he was a parish visitor of sick and shut-ins for many years. Jim was active in the community having previously served on the Board of Trustees of Otsego Memorial Hospital, the Board of Trustees for the Lake Louise Christian Camp, as secretary-treasurer of the Otsego County Chapter of the American Cancer Society,  as a member of the Otsego County Library Board, and as secretary-treasurer of the Gaylord Optimist Club. In his spare time Jim was an accomplished handyman as he and Margaret fully restored their century old farmhouse both inside and out with great attention and much pride.

Visitation will be 10:00 AM Saturday June 30, 2018 at the  First United Methodist Church with a Memorial service starting at 11:00 AM.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be made in Jim’s name to Hospice of Michigan or Mobility Worldwide through the Nelson Funeral Home at P.O. Box 1548, Gaylord, MI 49734.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Nelson Funeral Home and Cremation Services, P.O. Box 1548, Gaylord, MI 49734.

Family and friends may offer condolences at www.nelsonsfuneralhome.com

5 comments on “James W. Lacker”

  1. Patti and Gary Lingaur

    We met Jim when we were building our house. We came up from down state to check on the progress. While we were at the site Jim came riding up on his bicycle. He welcomed us to Gaylord and encouraged us to check out the Methodist church. That was the beginning of a 32 year long friendship. He and Margaret were always supportive of our family and loved by us. I know how important your family was to him. It was just a couple of weeks ago that he sent me a picture of the grandkids in the chair we gave him. He was a good friend to my father in the Brook before he passed away last fall. Jim was so thoughtful,he gave me a book on grieving because he knew how much I missed my parents. Your parents are missed but I am so happy that they are together in heaven with our Lord. May you be blessed with many wonderful memories.

  2. Roman & Kathy Okonowski

    Jim Lacker, what an OUTSTANDING man! Roman had the privilege of having Jim hire him at Gaylord State Bank in 1973. We were fortunate to buy a home in a subdivision on McCoy Rd adjacent to their farmhouse property. We have many fond memories of time spent with Jim and Margaret, whether it was enjoying nature, cutting firewood or learning cooking and baking secrets in Margaret’s kitchen. Many times, after a heavy snowfall, we would be out shoveling our driveway when Jim would come over on his John Deere to help clear us out. Through the years both Jim and Margaret proved to not only be GREAT friends but helpful mentors. We maintained contact when we moved from Gaylord in 1976 and were blessed to spend some time with them when we visited Gaylord in 2014. Jim had expressed his emptiness after Margaret’s passing and we know the two of them are happy to be reunited, with the Lord.

    We will always hold the memory of Jim and Margaret in our minds and hearts!

  3. Uncle Jim was special! Always warm and welcoming, big smile on an even more gregarious man. Will always remember his love of Family and his special way of connecting us to the past with his family emails and old pics. God Bless your family

  4. Our community benefitted greatly from Jim’s caring spirit, as he was always on the lookout to help and care for others. Jim will be remembered and missed.

  5. Jenny and family – I’m so sorry to learn of the passing of your dad. I had the great pleasure of driving him on two different occasions and he was a delight.
    I wish your family peace and joy as you go through your journey of grief and I’m so sorry that it is so soon on the heels of your mom’s passiing.
    Prayers and blessings to your family.

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