James Lloyd Whisenant, age 79 years of Niles, Michigan, father, brother, friend to many, honorable U.S.Navy veteran, TV repairman, and cannon builder died peacefully Friday afternoon, January 8, 2021 at home following a fight against cancer. His family is grateful for the kind and skilled care offered by the staff of hospice.
He was born on December 7, 1941 in Coloma, Michigan to Lloyd B. and Gladys M. (Barnwell) Whisenant. He graduated from Eau Claire, Michigan High School, and has lived in Niles most of his life.
Jim enlisted in the United States Navy in January of 1959. He served most of his tour onboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Lake Champlain as an ordnanceman, and was present when the U.S. first manned space flight, Freedom 7 was recovered. He was honorably discharged four years later.
He was a member of the American Legion Post #26 in Niles and AMVETS Post #1978 in Niles where he also served as bartender and participated in league pool tournaments. He had a great knowledge of the scriptures, studied American history, enjoyed shooting sports, and was a prolific builder of cannons.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and by brothers Dave Whisenant and Bill Whisenant.
Surviving family includes his daughter, Jennifer Jbouri of Mishawaka; a sister, Sandy Whisenant and brother, John Whisenant, both of Dowagiac, Michigan, and several nieces and nephews.
The family of Jim Whisenant will gather with relatives and friends at his graveside in Rose Hill Cemetery in Berrien Springs for Committal services with Pastor Mark Youngberg of the First Baptist Church of Niles officiating. The service will conclude with Full Military Honors by the United State Navy Honor Guard and American Legion Post #85 of Berrien Springs. Attendance will be limited, masks required, and social distancing practiced.
Contributions in memory of Jim Whisenant may be made to AMVETS Post 1978, 1117 East Bertrand Road, Niles, Michigan, 49120. Arrangements were made at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles. Online condolences may be left at:
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AMVETS Post #1978
1117 East Bertrand Road, Niles MI 49120