Rosary Live Stream
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
11:00 AM EST
Basilica of St Adalbert
654 Davis Avenue NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Kent County Veterans Services
836 Fuller Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
West Michigan Meals On Wheels
2900 Wilson Ave SW # 500
Grandville, MI 49418
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
A generous and faithful man, Jim Mazie devoted his life to serving others. He accomplished so many things of which to be proud, but his greatest source of pride and joy was found in his role as a husband, father, and grandfather. He was an active member of his community where he made many wonderful friendships over the years. Although he will be deeply missed, Jim leaves behind a wonderful collection of memories to be cherished forever.
Looking back on the 1930s, it is difficult to recall much of anything that wasn’t affected by the Great Depression. There were few jobs and a soaring unemployment rate that left countless American families without homes. Despite these tough times, Samuel and Phyllis (Sokolowski) Mazie celebrated with great joy the arrival of their newborn baby boy, James Raymond. Weighing only two pounds at birth, the midwife thought he didn’t survive. She swaddled him up and set him aside until they heard his wailing cries and realized he was alive! Due to his early arrival, his mother’s milk had not yet come in and Jim was nursed by a wet nurse. She was Italian, and Jim always joked about not liking Italian food because of her! Born the oldest of three sons, his birth brought great joy and happiness to his parents.
Growing up at 1049 3rd Street NW, Jim lived a typical childhood of the times. His parents were both hard-working. His father was a local tool and die maker working for General Motors and his mother worked at Buttercup Bakery. They were an exceptionally tight-knit family and attended Sacred Heart Parish. Jim attended St. James School and later Stocking Elementary where he had his fair share of boyhood mischief. He enjoyed playing baseball, building forts, and spending time in the nearby woods with his brothers Fred and Paul. Despite their closeness, his parents later divorced and remarried giving Jim two younger half-brothers, Sam and Joe. Active and always on the go, Jim served on his father's pit crew when he would race at the Speedrome at Comstock Park. He also delivered newspapers for the Grand Rapids Herald, was a pin-setter at Clique Lanes, and caddied at the Blythefield Country Club. While attending Union High School, his mother had to give permission for Jim to enlist in the United States Navy. Just seventeen years old, he attended basic training at Great Lakes and then went to Norfolk where he served as an Engineman third class during the Korean War. Once he was discharged in 1956, Jim went to work for Batts Manufacturing in Zeeland making wooden hangers. After eight years with the company, he left for a position at Michigan Plating & Stamping where he worked his way up to supervisor before retiring after thirty remarkable years.
Not to be forgotten was the meeting of Phyllis Haggerty, the woman who would change the course of his forever! He spotted her across the dance floor at the Polish Falcons Hall, asked her to dance, and the rest was history! The happy couple joined in marriage on May 18, 1957, at St. James Catholic Church officially beginning their 63-year adventure! After celebrating with a reception at Eastern Avenue Hall, the newlyweds moved into an apartment owned by Jim’s grandparents. Saving up their resources, they later moved to a rental home on Milwaukee Avenue NW. During this time, they built their family home on Netherfield in Comstock Park, where they raised their three wonderful children; Cheryl, Ken, and Sue.
A steadfast provider to the family he loved, Jim balanced both his career and his role as a father. He worked hard to help with the responsibilities of the household by making dinners before he left for his second shift job. He loved to add secret ingredients and often called in the evenings to ask how they liked the dinner! A lover of sweets, every morning the kids would check his lunch pail because they knew he would leave a treat in it for them! As a family, they enjoyed many vacations during Jim’s time off. They traveled to Cedar Point, Detroit Tiger baseball games, Mackinac Island, and as far away as Boston. They especially treasured their week-long stays at Wabasis Lake spending time with their aunts and uncles. Any amount of time he spent with this family, his heart was full.
Jim held a wide variety of special interests. He was an active member of the American Legion Post 47, the North Park VFW, and St. George's Hall on Quarry Street where he had his own designated stool. Over the years he played on several bowling and golf leagues. Always trying his hand at luck, he enjoyed gambling trips to the local casinos as well as bus trips to Branson, Gatlinburg, and San Diego. An avid music lover, Jim preferred his 40s and 50s Big Band sounds as well as Polka. When it came time to relax in front of the television, Jim enjoyed old westerns, war movies, as well as Abbott and Costello and the Bowery Boys. He was such a TV and movie buff, he had an extensively organized video library of movies that he never grew tired of watching. Nearby his chair would often be his favorite M&M candies. Jim continued his love of cooking and especially enjoyed grilling chicken making his own special sauce! He would fix spaghetti and meatballs once a year but never ate any because it was Italian! When planning for special occasions, Jim loved to prepare his delicious clam dip and his amazing kielbasa! Jim lived his life to the fullest and never took a single day for granted.
As much as he relished in his years as a father, Jim was very proud to be a grandfather. He loved to joke and tell stories as well as share his affinity for candy! He never passed up an opportunity to attend one of their sports or special school events. There was no doubt that he loved children. For decades, Jim enjoyed playing Santa every year at the Haggerty family Christmas gatherings. His pockets were always filled with candy and his heart was always filled with kindness. Exceptionally loving, Jim’s quick wit and humor will be greatly missed by his loved ones and close friends. May they often reflect on the compassion and endless amount of joy he shared with them over the years.
James R. Mazie, age 85, of Grand Rapids, MI, passed away on February 2, 2021. Jim was born March 24, 1935, in Grand Rapids to the late Samuel and Phyllis (Sokolowski) Mazie. He was also preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Phyllis (Haggerty); brothers, Fred and Samuel Mazie; step-father, Westeon Lehr; and step-mother, Marge Mazie. Jim was a proud veteran of the Korean War serving as an Engineman 3rd Class in the U.S. Navy. Jim is survived by his children, Cheryl (Tim) Gray, Ken (Mary) Mazie; Sue (Brian) Braunschneider; grandchildren, Justin Gray (Sarah Zemaitis), Derek Gray, Brent (Theresa) Gray, Brandon Gray (fiancée Amy Sue Miedzielec), Chad (Brittany) Mazie, Dalton Mazie (Ashley Moore), Jacob Braunschneider, Zachary Braunschneider, Nicholas Braunschneider; 7 great-grandchildren. Also surviving are brothers, Paul (Rena) Mazie, Joe (Erica Bohn) Mazie; sisters-in-law, Delores “Corkey” Barszewski, Marilyn Mazie, Marge Haggerty, Violet Haggerty, Jo Haggerty, Sid Haggerty. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, February 10, 2021, at 11:00 am at the Basilica of St. Adalbert Catholic Church, 654 Davis Ave. NW. Entombment will be in Rosedale Memorial Park. A rosary will be live-streamed at 7 PM Tuesday, Feb. 9th. Memorials can be made to Kent County Veterans Services or West Michigan Meals On Wheels. To leave a memory or condolence, or link to Tuesday's Rosary please visit www.heritagelifestory.com.