He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Magdalene Kelava; brother Robert Kelava; and brother-in-law, Donald Butler. He will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 50 years, Cheryl (Butler); children, Michelle and Shane Copeland, Michael and Jennifer Kelava; grandchildren, Anthony Ogg, Matthew Ogg, Kaleb Copeland, Olivia Copeland, Santana Samora, Chaya Samora, Alyssa (Saul) Hilliker, Brittyn Samora, Sarita Samora, Spencer Kelava, Logan Kelava; great-granddaughter, Alice Hawley; sisters and brothers-in-law, Betty Kelava, Carl (Ruth) Squires, Harold (Jeanne) Butler, Norman (Beth) Butler; aunt Evelyn Klukos; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Jim proudly served his country in the United States Navy from 1970-1978. He worked for HS Die and Engineering Inc. Jim loved sports, especially hockey, baseball, and football. He was the leader of a family of nerds, spending time playing role-playing games, computer and board games.
A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, March 12 at 7 p.m. at Matthysse-Kuiper-DeGraaf Funeral Home, 6651 Scott St. in Allendale, with Pastor Steven Starks officiating. Relatives and friends may meet the family Tuesday from 4:30 to 6:45 p.m. at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society or to the American Cancer Society. Condolences may be sent online at www.mkdfuneralhome.com.