James J. Dec, 76 years, of Temperance, MI passed away peacefully on Tuesday, August 22, 2023 surrounded by his family.
Born in 1947 in Milwaukee, WI to Stanley and Rita (Swiergosz) Dec, Jim then grew up in Toledo’s south-end, predominantly Polish, Kuschwantz, neighborhood.
A 1965 graduate of Libbey High School, Jim then served his country as an Army MP stationed at Fort Dix, NJ. While in the service, he earned top honors in physical fitness and marksmanship, and was hand selected to serve as the Commanding General’s personal driver. After his honorable discharge, Jim began his welding apprenticeship at Doehler-Jarvis. From there, he moved his young family to Temperance, MI and began a nearly fifty-year career as a Master Welder for Ford Motor Company at the Maumee Stamping Plant, which later became Maumee Authority Stamping, finally retiring in 2019.
An Eagle Scout, Jim’s love of the outdoors began early. A skilled hunter and fisherman, he enjoyed fishing on Lake Erie, Gilletts Lake, and salmon trips to Lake Michigan. If it had fins, he knew how to catch it. He spent decades hunting at Houghton Lake then shot his buck of a lifetime in Zanesville, Ohio.
Jim was a humble and devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, friend, and good neighbor. Generous with his time and patience, he had an unwavering, strong work ethic that he instilled in his six sons. He always said, “If you’re going to do something, do it right the first time.”
Whether you knew him as Jim, Jimmy, JJ, Dad, Papa, or Uncle, he was always there for those in need. If we didn’t have it, he could build it. When we broke it, he could fix it. A former Bedford Athletic Booster, he spent countless hours coaching or cheering his sons on at every wrestling match, baseball or football game, rarely missing a single one. Jim was a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus, with nearly thirty-five years of dedication. He was a parishioner of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Temperance, and a tireless church volunteer. You probably tasted his culinary talents at the OLMC Lenten Friday fish fry.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents and first wife, Diane (Valasek) Dec. He is survived by his loving wife of 36 years, Cherie (Caputo) Dec and sons, James (Robin) Dec of Jackson, MI, Jeffrey (Angela) Dec, Steven (Elizabeth) Dec, Thomas (Courtney) Dec all of Temperance, MI, Daniel (Sara) Dec of Lambertville, MI, and Paul Dec of Temperance, MI; sisters, Yvonne and Juanita, and his sixteen grandchildren.
Crack a cold one with Mike, Marty and Uncle Frank. Fish on, Dad. We love you. You did it right.
The family would like to thank the Knights, Elara Caring Hospice, and all the friends and family that provided comfort and support during Jim’s brief illness. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that donations be made in Jim’s honor to the Knights of Columbus #8902 or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
Visitation will be Friday, August 25, 2023 from 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. in the Urbanski’s Bedford Funeral Chapel 8300 Lewis Ave. Temperance, MI where the Rosary will be prayed by the Knights of Columbus and a Fourth Degree Chalice Presentation at 7:00 p.m. The funeral mass will be celebrated on Saturday, August 26, 2023 at 11:30 a.m. in Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church 8330 Lewis Ave. Temperance, MI where he will lie in state in the narthex after 10:30 a.m. Burial will follow in the church cemetery where Military Honors will be conducted by the Lambertville VFW Post 9656. Online condolences may be shared at www.bedfordfuneralchapel.com .