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Obituaries » James E. McNamara

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July 14, 1954 - January 30, 2024

Cremation has taken place and a celebration of life will be announced at a later date. Memorial gifts may be directed to Bronson Health Foundation, Attn: Isabel & Sean McNamara Donor Advised Fund to support Bronson’s NICU. You can make your gift online: Sean and Isabel McNamara Donor Advised Fund or via mail at 301 John Street, Box 73 Kalamazoo MI 49007.

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Age 69, passed away at his home on January 30, 2024, after a courageous battle with cancer. He was surrounded by loving family and friends. Jim was born in Chicago, IL, the son of the late James and Mabel (Maloney) McNamara. He was also preceded in passing by an infant son, Sean James McNamara. Jim had a commanding presence—his large stature and beautiful smile complimented by his calm, happy demeaner. He was a sociable person who loved spending time with family and friends and enjoyed meeting new people. Although raised in Evergreen Park, the McNamara’s summered in Saugatuck, MI which remained Jim’s favorite place to be. He loved the beach, sunshine and swimming became a part of his soul. He became an accomplished swimmer whose high school records stood for decades. Kalamazoo became his home, but he remained loyal to his city of birth and loved rooting for the Chicago Bears. He was creative and entrepreneurial which is reflected in the diverse chapters of his life story. Jim delivered beer in downtown Chicago, worked with his brother in the mobile home business, owned and operated a hair salon, “Wavelength” on South St. in Kalamazoo, managed Bourbon Street night club, and restored the historic InterUrban building—to name a few of his endeavors. He also loved to travel and enjoyed many adventures with his family, the last one being an African safari. Above all Jim was a loving family man. He was a proud stay-at-home parent which forged a special bond with his daughter Isabel. Jim’s kind, loving and outgoing personality will be missed by all who know him and though gone too soon, he leaves behind the legacy of a life well lived. On September 11, 1999, he married the love of his life Anita Mehta-McNamara who survives. He is also survived by his daughter Isabel McNamara; siblings, Michael (Julie) McNamara and Laura (John) Lucas; three nieces, Michelle (Jim) Sykora, Bridget (Curt) Cepican, Lindsay Lucas; several great nieces and nephews, extended family and friends. A special thanks to The Crew for making every last wish happen.