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James Donald Rowland, age 69, of Greenville, passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 20, 2022 at Spectrum Health-Butterworth Hospital following a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.  The son of Donald John & Elaine Carol (Boelter) Rowland, he was born on May 5, 1953 in Grand Rapids.

Jim spent over 30 years working at the General Motors 36th Street Plant, where he retired as general foreman.  After retiring from GM, he worked at various shops in the tool and die trade for several additional years.

On June 27, 2003, he married Denise Lenore Phenix.  They were blessed with nearly 20 years of marriage and shared a passion for riding their Harleys, enjoying many miles on the road together.
Jim was proud to be the first non-Polish President of the Eastern Avenue Hall and was also an active member of the Sons of the American Legion (SAL) at the Alto American Legion Post No. 528.  He will be remembered by family and friends as the big guy with a tough shell and a marshmallow filling.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and four siblings, Richard, Carol, David, and Kathy.
Surviving are his wife, Denise Rowland; their children, Nick & Tanda Rowland, Roxanne & Jeremy Shears, Chris Walter & Mercedes Bowen, and Alex Walter & fiancée Shauna Dennie; grandchildren, Nick Jr., Tori, Laney, Amelia, Mackenzie, and Emmerson; four siblings, Jerry & Lois Boelter, Gary Rowland, Ron & Sheri Rowland, and Nancy & Dave Bradley; two sisters-in-law, Michelle & Jason Dick, and Janette Hodge; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.
Visitation with the family is from 2-4 p.m. on Friday, December 2, 2022 at Christiansen’s Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, 511 S. Franklin Street, Greenville, with a celebration of Jim’s life following from 6-8 p.m., also on Friday, December 2, 2022, at the Eastern Avenue Hall, 506 Eastern Avenue N.E., Grand Rapids Honoring Jim’s wishes, cremation has taken place and final interment will be at River Ridge Cemetery, Belding.
Instead of flowers, Jim would have appreciated contributions in his memory to either Spectrum Health Hospice or the Eastern Avenue Hall.  Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.
To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Jim’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:
Arrangements are entrusted to Christiansen’s Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Greenville, 616-754-5638.


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14 Condolences

  1. Rick and Samantha Toppel on November 24, 2022 at 5:58 am

    Our heartfelt sympathies to Denise and the rest of the family. May he now rest in peace.

  2. Karen Frens Kennedy on November 24, 2022 at 9:33 am

    We all lost a great friend and man..Jim was special and caring and always a good time…Thinking of Denise and all

  3. Lisa Layne on November 24, 2022 at 2:50 pm

    My deepest sympathy to Denise and all the family. I just woke to Jim via text right before Pulaski weekend. He was such a wonderful guy. Going to miss you big guy.

  4. Gerri Doorn Harnish on November 24, 2022 at 8:39 pm

    Condolences to Jim’s family, As we all at GM we’re also family, he certainly will be missed always a good time when Jim was around lots of Poliski Day Memories at Diamond hall and on the hill. God Bless and RIP

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