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“Diane and Family, I'm so sorry to learn that your Dad passed away. I remember him so well. I haven't seen you in years, but my thoughts and prayers...Read More »
1 of 4 | Posted by: Barbara Oleyar - Chesterfiels, MI

“To The McKinnie FamilyYou are a strong and caring family. From the first day I met my friend Lori McKinnie in Kindergarten, and we became friends; I...Read More »
2 of 4 | Posted by: Susan Morris - Macomb, MI

“So many memories and good times. Prayers for peace for the family. Sending my love. Melissa (Missy Peterson) Johnston ”
3 of 4 | Posted by: A friend

“It was always good to have coffee with Jimmy or go for a bike ride. He will always be remembered. ”
4 of 4 | Posted by: Gerry Anderson - Macomb, MI


James McKinnie, age 83 of Warren, died Saturday, December 24, 2016 at the Rose Senior Living Center in Clinton Township, Michigan. He was born May 4, 1933 in Detroit, son of the late George and the late Gladys (nee: Gillespie) McKinnie.

With thanks and praise from a grateful nation, we pay homage to James for his service to our country as a soldier in the U.S. Army during the Korean War era. Having answered the call with pride and patriotism, we extend our posthumous gratitude for James' willingness to stand in harm's way for the sake of duty and the furtherance of freedom for our allies overseas.

Born and raised on Detroit's west side, that is where he grew to stature, received his schooling, and embarked upon adulthood with confidence and an assurance in a future that seemed bright and hopeful. There was just one missing piece to the puzzle,…the one with whom James would share that promising future. Then one day, an arrangement of a blind date brought James together with a special woman by the name of Dawn,…who just happened to be the niece of Dawn's girlfriends aunt,…who just happened to be married to Jim's uncle. With all that friendship and family connections holding things together, it made perfect sense that these two lovebirds were destined to share their lives as one,…and it all began in a ceremony held on September 17, 1955 at St. Jude Catholic Church in Detroit. The vows were exchanged, the rings were donned, and down the aisle their journey began as husband & wife.

From there, James and Dawn made their first home in St. Clair Shores where the initially laid some soft roots. Eventually, they picked up those roots and relocated to the burgeoning community of Warren where they transplanted those roots, built upon the comforts of home, raised a family, and grew deeper in love with each passing day.

As for James' career, he ventured down the path as a tool maker and was proud of the years he spent in the employ of a number of small shops, the Chrysler Motor Corporation, and finally at General Dynamics from where he accepted his well-deserved retirement after 16 years of loyal and dedicated service.

For the hobbies and pastimes James enjoyed, his earlier years were spent playing in his favorite sport of baseball. Together with his younger set of friends, James was able to get great exercise along with participating in a sport he loved playing as well as watching. Another sporting pastime he enjoyed was deer hunting, something that became even more special when his sons reached adulthood and were able to join their Dad "on the hunt." Being as industrious as James was with his hands in tool making, it was no surprise that he was equally comfortable in the role of "Mr. Fix-It." He could repair most anything,…from toys, to appliances, and even automobiles. If it needed a little wrenching or repairing, James was your man.

Yet of all the things that brought James a good portion of joy, his Scottish heritage and love for a mug of cold beer reigned supreme. A story that helps define this point would definitely be on the DALMAC Tours he participated in. An acronym for the Dick Allen Lansing to MACkinaw Bicycle Tour, it's an annual trek that James participated in on 5 different occasions, together, with 3 of his Bike Buds. With MSU as their starting point and the Mighty Mac as their finish, it was both a test of his stamina and the "joy of the ride" that became such an attraction for him. Quite tellingly, his bicycling days took flight AFTER suffering a heart attack back in 1991,…which goes a long way in defining the kind of drive that lied within James. And being of Scottish decent, it was always invigorating for he and his 3 pals to throw on their "Killians" bicycling attire as they knew that the tour route was going to take them by a favorite pub where they always enjoyed a free pitcher of beer.

A loving husband, father and grandfather, James' life was one filled with many wonderful experiences, highlights, and memories of which all were created in the company of his cherished loved ones and friends. He touched a multitude of hearts and lives along the way and leaves a legacy of love for all to embrace with each reflection shared. Family was his most precious gift, especially when it came to his loving grandchildren. They were truly the light of his life and meant the world to him. Yet no matter the relationship, his love was shared equally and with the same esteem for all. It is why James was so special in so many ways. He will be missed immensely and loved eternally.

James was the beloved husband of Dawn Laverne (nee: Simkins) for 61 years. Dearest father of Brian (Cynthia) McKinnie, Diane Reynolds, Lori (Michael) Sobek, Jeffrey (Linda) McKinnie, and Scott (Holly) McKinnie. Loving grandfather of 11 and great-grandfather of 2. Treasured brother of David McKinnie, and the late George.

Visitation for James will be held on Wedneday, December 28th from 3-9 pm at the D.S. Temrowski & Sons Funeral Home, 30009 Hoover Road at Common (12 1/2 Mile Road) in Warren. His Funeral Service will be conducted on Thursday 10:00 am at the funeral home. Burial will take place at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, Michigan.

Please share memories of James at his memory book above.