Welcome to the memorial page for

James J. Vargo

June 8, 1934 ~ December 29, 2017 (age 83)

James J. Vargo, 83 of Petoskey passed away Dec. 29, 2017 at his residence in Petoskey. A service of remembrance will take place at Chandler Hill Cemetery this coming May. 

Jim was born June 8, 1934 in Petoskey to George A. and Mary K (Rostar) Vargo. He grew up in Petoskey and attended St. Francis Xavier School.

During his high school years, he worked at Saks Fifth Avenue and in 1952 he went to Flint MI and worked for Fisher Body. A few years later with a wife and two kids he decided to return to Petoskey where he picked up a paintbrush for the next 40 years. He was a painter by trade and painted both the north and south towers of the Mackinac Bridge, the local College, schools, hospitals, and business, including private homes.

He enjoyed feeding his local wildlife backyard visitors, ma & pa cardinal, a rabbit he affectionately called the lawn mower along with squirrels and deer from time to time. He was also an avid reader who enjoyed the outdoors with off road-motor biking, fishing, boating, and tinkering with cars.

On April 24, 1954 he married his first wife Marciel (Woodruff) Vargo together they had five children. On April 25, 1969 he married his second wife JoAnn Lowery (Howard) Vargo, adding two more to his family.

He is survived by six children Leslie Vargo, James Vargo Jr., Victoria Vargo, Teresa Vargo, John Lowery and Jackie (Lowery) Slanina, and by 11 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.  His surviving siblings include, Brother George and Sister Nellie as well as many nieces and nephews.

James was preceded in death by his former wife Marciel, by his second wife JoAnn and by his son Daniel Vargo on July 25, 2011.

A graveside service is planned for 2p.m. Monday, May 14, 2018 at the Howard Cemetery in Chandler Township.

Family and friends are also welcome to share memories or offer condolences online at        

 Service Information

A service summary is not available

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