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James “Jim” Wernig

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James H. Wernig, Jr. passed away June 15, 2019 at McLaren Northern Michigan hospital in Petoskey at the age of 86.

Jim was born in South Bend, Indiana, and moved to Detroit at an early age. His first taste of the automotive business was sweeping floors at a Detroit auto dealership when he was a teenager. After serving in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1955, he returned to Michigan and graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in economics.

He founded Jim Wernig Chevrolet in 1959 in Almont, Michigan, and later moved the operation to Romeo, Michigan. Jim had ties to the Gaylord area since 1953, so his move “up north” was a natural choice. In 1977, he moved and purchased the Chevrolet dealership in Gaylord. Today, Jim Wernig Chevrolet is located at 2401 Old 27 South, Gaylord, Michigan. Jim also operated dealerships in Cheboygan, Alpena and Grayling. He was a Chevrolet dealer for 60 years.

Jim was a member of the Gaylord Elks Club, Mackinac Island Yacht Club, and was a past board member of the Michigan Automobile Dealers Association.

Jim is survived by his beloved wife Linda, and daughters Susan (Steve) Frank and Cynthia (Jean Christophe) Deniau. Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Nelson Funeral Home. P.O. Box 1548, Gaylord MI. 49734.

A memorial Celebration of Life will be held June 29, 2019, 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Ellison Place in Gaylord, Michigan. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Otsego County Animal Shelter through the Nelson Funeral Home, PO Box 1548, Gaylord, MI 49734.

5 comments on “James “Jim” Wernig”

  1. Kurt Heidebreicht

    Very sorry to hear that we have lost Jim and so happy that I was able to pay a visit to him and Linda at their home a few months back. I think my Dad used to refer to Jim as the “Berlin Bear” and they enjoyed many years as partners and friends. I certainly owe a debt of gratitude to both Wernig & Heid for allowing the next generation a chance to enjoy the automobile business. Rest in Peace Jim.

    • Chris Heidebreicht

      I always enjoyed meeting up with Jim at the auctions. Out of nowhere, I would have someone sneak up on me and give me one of his famous “bear hugs”! Great guy, enjoyed many years with him. He will be missed! RIP Jim.

      • What a wonderful gentleman and friend Jim was to me, his family and so many other people who were blessed to know him.
        Over the years Jim and I would share many ‘Blue Oval’ vs ‘Bow Tie’ jokes, both of us being Ford and GM executive offspring respectively.
        A truely great father, friend, community leader and businessman.
        Jim, you will be missed.
        God bless, Keith Gornick

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