Vanderbeek, James Austin, Alma, Michigan

Went home to be with the Lord on March 1, 2015. Age 86 years. He was born on March 31, 1928 in Alma to Garl Vanderbeek and Martha Raske Vanderbeek. After graduating high school, he started his career as a farmer, but fate led him to a career in sales, first with Famo Feeds and then 30 years as an oil man with Total Petroleum. Jim was an avid sports fan and golfer, and was a member of the Pine River Country Club for nearly six decades. He became interested in horse racing and operated Six Gun Stables with his partners, and had several successful horses. Jim was very involved in the Alma and Gratiot County community as a member, usher and an ordained Elder in the 1st Presbyterian Church for over fifty years, and served as County Commissioner from 2002 to 2004. He also served as the Chair of the Gratiot County Republican Party, where he was the Republican Man of the Year in 2010. Jim is survived by his beloved wife of nearly 50 years, Joanne, their children Rebecca, Laurie and James H. Vanderbeek (Tania), five grandchildren, Andrew, Savannah, Jack, Jocelyn and Jace, a sister Alyce Schueller (Ron), a nephew Rick Vanderbeek (Kathy) and a grand-niece Heidi and a nephew Martin (Diana) and a grand-nephew Ron. He was preceded in death by his father, mother, sister Jean, brother William (Grace). A visitation will be held on Friday, March 6, 2015 from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at Lux-Moody-Wolfel Funeral Home, 531 N. State St., Alma, and a memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 7, 2015 at 11 a.m. at Alma First Presbyterian Church with Pastor Tom Brackbill officiating. Jim will be interred at Pennington Gardens at the First Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to the First Presbyterian Church in Alma. Condolences may be left on Jim Vanderbeek’s online guest book at