James L. King, 85, of Bellevue, Michigan passed away peacefully on September 28, 2021, at his home surrounded by his family after a brief, courageous battle with cancer.
Jim was born April 1, 1936, in Battle Creek, Michigan, to Daisy (Holmes) and Neville King. He was a 1954 graduate of Hastings High School. On April 20, 1957, he was united marriage to Ruth Ann Rhoades in Battle Creek, Michigan.
After graduation, he went to work for J.R. Heistand Engineer and Land Surveyor which led him into his life-long career. He later worked for DeKeyser & Associates from 1962-1981 and was a partner in King & Carr Land Surveying from 1981-1987 and formed his own company King Ryan Land Surveyors in 1987 from which he retired in 1992.
Jim was elected and served as the Barry County Surveyor from 1964-1992. He was a founding member of Barry County's first planning commission serving from 1967-1974 where they established the county's first land use plan. Throughout his surveying career he designed and platted over 100 subdivisions in the city of Battle Creek and the surrounding counties. He did not like straight roads so he added as many curves as he could.
Jim was an active member and supporter of the Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors for 55 years and held local and state leadership positions. He was also a life member of the Battle Creek Association of Home Builders where he held several local and state offices. In 1997, he was named Michigan Associate of the Year. He was also a life member of the Battle Creek Association of Realtors, and a member of the Battle Creek Engineers Club and the Battle Creek AMBUCS.
Jim also established the three Best American car washes in Battle Creek and together with a partner established the Budget Self Storage units in Urbandale.
After retirement, Jim and Ruth Ann enjoyed traveling through Europe, Alaska, and Canada. They also enjoyed spending winters near Ft. Myers, Florida for 22 years.
Jim spent his entire 85 years on Maple Creek Farm, which was designated a Michigan centennial farm in 2019. In his spare time, he raised Hereford cattle and later wheat and soybeans with his grandson, Chad, They also collected antique John Deere tractors. He also loved sports and never missed a football or baseball game that his grandson, Chris, played.
In addition to his wife, he is also survived by his daughter, Lori (Mark) Easlick of Battle Creek; grandsons, Chad (Amanda) Hughes of Bellevue and Christopher (Kimberley) Easlick of Saginaw; granddaughter, Andrea (Jason) Markham of Belleville, Illinois; great-grandsons, Brody Hayes, Jackson and Troy Hughes, great-granddaughter, Kylin Easlick who was just born on his 85th birthday in April; and sister Janice (Darrel) Drummond of Gobles. He was preceded in death by his mother, Daisy Zick and father Neville King.
The family wishes to thank special care giver, Chrissy Eakins, for the wonderful care Jim received during his illness.
Friends will be received 5:00 p.m. â 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 5, 2021 at Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care. A funeral service to celebrate Jim's life will be officiated by Rev. Robert Hughes 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 6, 2021. The service will be live-streamed and may be viewed by visiting https://vimeo.com/617100929 or the Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care Facebook Page.
Memorials contributions may be made to Calhoun County Animal Center, 165 Union Street, Battle Creek, MI 49014. Arrangements are by Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care. Personal messages for the family may be placed here at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.