James Edward Benham, of Lark’s Lake, Michigan, passed away on October 25, 2019.
He was born in Arizona on September 21, 1947, and grew up in Flint, Michigan with his mother and sister. He lived in Ann Arbor while attending Eastern Michigan University where he earned his undergraduate degree. He made many life-long friends while living in Ann Arbor. Jim moved to the Petoskey area in 1975 where he started his Antique and Collectible business first in Petoskey on Buckley Street, then Cross Village and finally in Alanson. He grew this business over the years into a successful and important part of the Alanson community.
Jim loved all Mother Nature. Hunting, fishing, and cruising Crooked River and Burt Lake on his “float boat” were joys for him. He was a passionate advocate for our natural resources.
An avid reader and historian, books, newspapers and periodicals surrounded him. Too, Jim was there to help organize the very first, now iconic, Bliss Fest in 1981. He never missed a year of going to the festival.
For many, many years Jim hosted an annual ‘Luau’ at his property in Cross Village. There, he was instrumental in bringing friends and family together for a weekend of celebrating just that, friends and family.
He loved his family and his friends and was always ready to help others when he could. Jim was genuine and humble and what you saw was what you got. In the words of his cousin, he will be greatly missed by all who loved him, but not forgotten. He had a big heart.
Jim is survived by his wife, MaryEllen; his sister, Lucy Benham, niece Elisabeth Benham; his brother in-law and sister-in-law Jim and Lynn Tieman as well as many cousins.
There will be a Memorial Gathering November 9, 2019, 2 to 6 at the Center Township Hall.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Jim’s name may be directed to American Heart Association. It is strongly suggested by the family to please not order flowers.
To send flowers to James' family, please visit our floral section.