James Gordon Navis, Sr., 83, passed away at Clement Zablocki VA Hospital on Tuesday, July 15, 2008. He was born in Sheldon, IA, on Nov`. 21, 1924, to the late Henry and Henrietta Navis. He lived most of his life in Racine. He was united in marriage to the former Grace Friesema in Racine on Sept. 27, 1946; she preceded him in death on Oct. 15, 2007.
He served in the United States Army Air Corp, flying in a B-24 bomber during WWII in the European Theater. Along with his wife, Grace, they owned and operated Jim Navis Insurance Agency for many years. He was a member of Racine Christian Reformed Church and former President of the Local and State Chapters of Gideon’s International.
He is survived by his children, James G. Jr, (Constance Cohen), John G. (Ruth), Keith A. (Kim), Ronald D., and Karen A. (Ed) Diemer; eleven grandchildren, six great-grandchildren; three sisters, Mildred Kuiper, Evelyn Braaksma, Joyce (Richard) Gorr; one brother, Kenneth (Betty) Navis; nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and many friends also survive. Three brothers, Gerald, Clifford and Harley Navis, preceded him in death.
Funeral services will be held at Racine Christian Reformed Church, 900 Illinois St., on Friday, July 18, 2008, at 10:30 a.m. with Pastor John Bylsma officiating. Interment will follow at West Lawn Memorial Park. Friends may meet with the family at the church on Friday morning from 9 a.m. until the time of service.
Memorials in memory of Mr. Navis to Racine Christian School or Gideons have been suggested.
Wilson Funeral Home
1212 Lathrop Ave, Racine (262) 634-3361