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Obituaries » James D. Boutell

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February 24, 1943 - November 30, 2021

According to his wishes, there will not be a funeral service at this time. The family will be having a celebration of life fish fry at a date in the future. Jim loved the U of M. We would ask that instead of flowers  donations be made to the University of Michigan Mott's Children’s Hospital at in his memory.

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James “Jim” Douglas Boutell was born on February 24, 1943 in St. Clare Shores, MI. He died peacefully on November 30, 2021 at Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo, MI. Jim leaves behind his wife of 55 years, Naomi “Jeani” (Pollard) Boutell; his son, James “Tommy” Boutell and daughter in law, Michele Virva; his daughter, Jennifer Rae (Boutell) Freiberg and son in law, Scott Michael Freiberg. Jim had six grandchildren, Joshua Nick Boutell, Erin (Andrew) Lorraine Niskala, Benjamin Michael Thorpe, Amanda (David III) Adeline Rife, Casey Virva Boutell (Elizabeth Evens, fiancé), and Ian James Boutell. He also had six great grandchildren, Isabel Aya Thorpe, Noah James Niskala, Jonathon Mathew Rife, Abel James Rife, Sadie Madelyn Rife, and Scarlett Grace Boutell. He would like you to know that there were many others along the way who he considered his family. Paula (Frank) Kay Pollard Stroniolo, niece in relation daughter in heart. Thomas (Carol) Pillars, his best friend for more than sixty years and brother till the end. Rick and Irene Troutman, his favorite fun kids. He loved you all. Before anything his family was all that mattered to him. Much of Jim’s early life was spent in Iowa with his sister, Jeannette (Bud) Boutell Duncan who took care of him and his 2 brothers Richard Boutell (deceased) and George (Kim) “Steve” Jones. He loved his time in Iowa and often spoke of growing up on the farm. Jim returned to Michigan as a young teen to Portage. During high school Jim was an expectational Basketball Player at Portage Central. Jim had several scholarships to college at that time, he instead chose to serve his country, joining the army. He served honorably for 3 years in the early 1960s. After his tour he came home to Michigan. Jim and Jeani met at the Kalamazoo State Psychiatrist Hospital while they both worked there. They were perfect for each other and married soon after. In the late 1960s They moved to Berrien County Michigan, staying for 15 years. Jim worked at Lakeland Medical Center during those years and raised his family. Jim was very active in the community. He played, coached and umpired sports yearlong. In early 80s Jim and Jeani moved to Paw Paw, MI and shortly thereafter they were both working at the state hospital again. They moved to Delton, MI in 1990s to their lake house. Jim was heard saying more than once that he bought a house on the lake for his beloved black lab Beau. Jim Retired from the State of Michigan in 1997. He then came back to Paw Paw, MI in the early 2000s until he died Tuesday evening. He spent many of his days babysitting grand/great grand kids, who he loved to tease and give a hard time in the most loving way. He was an extraordinary outdoors man, teaching all his children to love and respect nature. Duck hunting was his greatest passion, beside his family. The fish were never safe around his “2” poles either. Jim will be remembered first for his wisdom and secondly for his silly nature. He was loved by so many and would not want anyone of you sad.