Ocean Beach 07

James Staple

May 18, 1942 ~ August 22, 2020 (age 78)


James Allan Staple, 78, passed away peacefully in his home in Holland, Michigan on August 22. He is survived by his wife Louise (Garter); children Rebecca (Matthew) McFarland, Elizabeth McKenzie, David (Marta) Staple, former son-in-law Robert McKenzie; grandchildren Rachel and Maggie McFarland, Lilly McKenzie, Ramona and James Staple; sisters Jeanne (Frank) Klobucher, Joanne (Mike) Prince, and Cheryl (Dale) Merz; many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews. Preceded in death by his parents William and Rena (Doorn) Staple, brother Ronald (Mary) Staple, sister Sandra Staple, and niece Katie Merz.

Jim was born in Muskegon, Michigan on May 18, 1942. He graduated from Muskegon Heights High School in 1960, where he was a member of the Debate Team and Class President.

Jim paid his way through college by painting for the Muskegon Heights Board of Education. While at Hope College, he was a proud member of the Omicron Kappa Epsilon fraternity and earned a BA in English Literature. Hope is where he met his future wife, Louise Garter of Grand Rapids, whom he hitchhiked from Muskegon to see on weekends throughout the summer.

Jim and Louise were married on January 16, 1965.

In addition to his undergraduate degree, Jim earned an MBA at Western Michigan University and after retirement an MA, also from Western, in Counseling Psychology. He served in the Army Reserves from 1966-1972.

Jim spent the last 26 years of his career at Herman Miller, Inc. in various marketing roles, retiring as Director of User Research. He enjoyed working in that creative environment which allowed him to meet and collaborate with many famous designers and help bring beautiful, iconic furniture to the public.

The most important thing in Jim’s life was his family. He loved spending time at Lake Michigan, going on family vacations, and eating at Fricano's Pizza, of which he was a loyal patron for over 63 years. He appreciated modern art, classical music, the Michigan Wolverines, and the Blue Angels. Jim loved cooking extravagant meals for his family and was famously known for proclaiming "there is more bread in the kitchen”.

Jim will be remembered as an amazing spouse, father, grand-father, sibling, uncle, co-worker, and friend. He will be forever missed by his family who asks that in lieu of flowers, you please make a donation in his name to either the Hope College Endowment Fund or St. Jude’s Children's Hospital.

Visitation will be held on Friday, August 28, 2020, from 4-6 p.m. at Metcalf & Jonkhoff Funeral Home at 4291 Cascade Road SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. 

A Celebration of Jim’s Life will be held on Saturday, August 29, 2020, at 12:30 p.m. at The Villas on Lake Macatawa at 228 Janes View Dr., Holland, MI 49424.

All friends and family are welcome.

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


August 28, 2020

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Metcalf & Jonkhoff Funeral Service
4291 Cascade Road SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546

August 29, 2020

12:30 PM

Private Family Service

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