AMerican Veteran 11

James R. Carr

June 30, 1927 ~ November 21, 2021 (age 94)


James R. Carr, PE died on November 21st, 2021 at the age of 94 years 4 months.

A Memorial service for Jim will be held 2:30pm Thursday, April 28 at the Metcalf & Jonkhoff Funeral Home. 

He is survived by his two sons, James Arthur & Kathleen McGleish Carr, and Thomas Peter & Janet Handley Carr.  Three grandchildren, Jenny Lind & Jarrod James Long, Rebecca Jane Carr & Andrew Peter Carr, and two great grandchildren Calvin James & Sylvia Jane Long, and many devoted nieces, nephews, & cousins.    He was preceded in death by his wife of 69 years, Carilon, his brothers Willard Peter Carr, Jr, and Richard Alan Carr, and parents Alice Swensen & Willard Peter Carr.  Jim was born in Chicago, Illinois on June 30, 1927 and attended public schools in Chicago and Park Ridge, Illinois.  Following service in the U. S. Navy during World War II, he joined Carpenter’s Chicago Local 58.  He earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at Michigan State College, where he was a member of Beta Delta Chapter of Social Fraternity Phi Kappa Sigma, and member and past president of Beta Beta Chapter of Service Fraternity Alpha Phi Omega.  He also was a member of Phi Lambda Tau in Engineering, and was Treasurer of the ‘S’ Men’s Council.   Always interested in sports, he enjoyed golf and attendance at sports events.  An avid downhill skier, he skied with his wife until age 79 in Michigan and at locations out west.  In 1950 he was called back to active duty in the Seabees, NMCB-3, during the Korean Conflict and served on Amchitka, Aleutian Islands, Territory of Alaska.  His civil engineering career included bridge design, dam construction and airport planning, design and construction.  He is most proud of the 31 years he spent providing services to the Kent County Airport at two different locations.   He was involved in land and easement acquisition, site selection approval, processing of grant applications, and the planning, design and construction of major portions of the current airport.  He is also known for the northerly parallel East-West runway at Kent County Airport, frequently referred to as “Jim’s” runway.  He also provided services to a number of municipal airports throughout Michigan.  During his career he earned his Commercial Pilots License with an Instrument Rating.  Jim’s employment was with Consoer Townsend & Quinlan of Chicago, Foster Engineering of Lansing, Michigan Department of Conservation, Michigan Department of Aeronautics and Williams & Works (President of the Columbia, MO office in the 1970’s).  He was a member of Professional and Civil Engineering Societies plus organizations through his employment.  He was Engineer of the Year in 1982 and Outstanding Engineer in Private Practice in 1987.  He served on local, state and national committees of MSPE and ASCE.  An Eagle Scout, he supported the Boy Scouts throughout his life.  He was a member of the American Legion Post 356 at the Boat and Canoe Club and a 35+ year member of Golden K Kiwanis.  Jim enjoyed the study of genealogy with trips to Norway and Denmark to meet with relatives and to expand on the family records.  He was active in the United Methodist Church in Lansing and Grand Rapids.  The first 10 years of retirement was spent as Secretary of an active building committee making major changes in First United Methodist Church.  The challenge of upgrading a 100 year old church without changing its historic feel and heritage was a major influence on his retirement.  Upon the completion of these major renovations and changes the church changed his name to James “Details” Carr.  The family thanks the staff of Clark Retirement Community for their care and caring during Jim’s last days.   Memorial contributions may be made to First United Methodist Church, Grand Rapids, Building Fund or to the Clark Retirement Community Foundation Endowment for Benevolent Care.  His memorial will be scheduled for the Spring of 2022 after all this COVID stuff is settled. 

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
April 28, 2022

2:30 PM
Metcalf & Jonkhoff Funeral Service
4291 Cascade Rd SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546


Clark Retirement Community Benevolent Fund
1551 Franklin St. SE, Grand Rapids MI 49506
Tel: 1-616-452-1568

First United Methodist Church
227 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids MI 49503
Tel: 1-616-451-2879

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