James C. Breault formerly of Canadian Lakes and recently of Grand Rapids, MI passed away on February 2, 2021 from complications after a fall. He was 86 years old. Born on January 25, 1935 to Edward and Mildred (Osier) Breault in Detroit, MI; Jim was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at the age of 19 and was given a life expectancy of 40. He far outlived the doctor’s expectations in many ways.
Jim was a loyal Detroit Lions fan and follower of the Detroit Tigers. Every year he would hope that the Lions would be a contender for the SuperBowl (shockingly this never occurred). While working as a television Producer/Director for WWJ-TV in Detroit, Jim covered, among other events, the Lions football games, the Thanksgiving Day parade, and even the Detroit riots. He won several awards from the Detroit Press Club for his work. Jim met, then married Keitha Joan Wylie on May 1, 1965 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. They had to hurry back to Michigan from their Florida honeymoon to watch Jim’s horse race. (The horse did not win by the way, but did come in second!). It was at this time Keitha recognized that their lives would revolve around sports of some kind.
Along with his loving and caring wife Keitha, Jim is survived by his three daughters (who he remarked never gave him any troubles): Tricia and her dog Maddie of San Francisco, CA; Caroline Breault Luehrs (Dan) of East Grand Rapids, MI; and Kathleen and his first granddog, Bella, of European living and world travels. Jim was extremely proud that all his daughters were educators with advanced university degrees. He is also survived by his energetically loud granddaughters Katie (his roommate), Sarah (his xcountry all star), Anna (his tech. support), and Claire Cannon (his COVID close contact) all of East Grand Rapids, MI; his sister Barbara Stewart; his sister-in-law Joyce Breault; numerous nieces and nephews both in Canada and the United States; and many special people including Debbie Cervantes, Dennis and Elaine Cox, the Tuesday Dinner Club, as well as the many nurses and doctors who helped him throughout the years.
Jim enjoyed nothing more than teaching television production at Ferris State University, playing slow pitch softball with the Old Timers, going to the casino and winning at Texas Hold Em (he would give his daughters a little something extra when he won!), performing for the Canadian Lakes players, golfing with his buddies, and laying in bed to watch (as well as yell at) MSNBC. He was a firm believer everyone should start the day with a large breakfast that included poached eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, and toast; plus, end the day with dessert, preferably orange sherbet or a lemon meringue pie. Jim believed that every child, no matter where they were born or raised, deserved a quality education and that people should be kind and giving to each other. Jim will enjoy spending eternity with his beloved brother Jack watching television, particularly the SuperBowl and Trump’s second impeachment trial. His family did remind him to watch his language up there though! He will be missed by his family.
Instead of flowers, the family is asking everyone to remember Jim with a celebration in their own way. He would be happy to think people raised a glass in his memory, did an unexpected or unsolicited act of kindness, or went to the casino and thought of him.
A memorial service will be held in Big Rapids in the spring.
To send flowers to James' family, please visit our floral store.