Published 8:16 pm Saturday, January 28, 2023
July 26, 1926-Jan. 27, 2023
James Giles’ life began on July 26, 1926, in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, the son of Mergel and Verva (Donahue) Giles. He was a veteran of the United States Navy serving during World War II from 1944-1946. On Sept. 13, 1947, James was united in marriage to Mary Alice Wyatt at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Fort Wayne. He was a faithful parishioner of Holy Maternity of Mary Catholic Church. James was a very talented salesman of 40 years selling office machines and automobiles. He was an active volunteer at the Dowagiac Area History Museum and member of the Knights of Columbus and was an avid Notre Dame Athletics fan. He loved working at Krohne Plant Farms selling strawberries and asparagus.
James’ loving family includes twelve children Maureen (Gary) Kohlheim-Keeling of Cape Coral, FL, Stephanie First of Dowagiac, Pegeen Zygaitis of Eugene, OR, Patrick (William Chapman- Nyaho) Giles of Seattle, WA, Kevin Giles of Fort Myers Beach, FL, Sheila (Bill) Krohne of Keeler, Shelaigh Stearns of Dowagiac, Mary Kate (Dave) Phillips of Dowagiac, Christine (Lloyd Styburski) Owsiany of Watervliet, Caroline (Kevin Rank) Kusa of Dowagiac, Molly Bonomo of Dowagiac, and Martha (Joe) Hassle of Dowagiac; 37 grandchildren, 58 great grandchildren. He was proud of his children and grandchildren and often said that his children were his greatest accomplishment. James passed away on Friday, January 27, 2023 at his home.
Preceding him in death were his wife of 65 years, Mary Alice Giles; two grandsons, Spencer Kohlheim and Jordan Giles; sisters, Betty and Peggy; and brother, Jack.
His family will gather with friends from 3 to 6 p.m., on Sunday, Feb 5, at Clark Chapel-Starks Family Funeral Homes, 405 Center St, Dowagiac. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m., on Monday, Feb. 6, at Holy Maternity of Mary Catholic Church, 210 N Front St, Dowagiac, with Fr. Arul Lazar celebrant. He will be laid to rest on Sunday, June 18, in Calvary Cemetery, Dowagiac. Memorial contributions in James’s name may be directed to Holy Maternity of Mary – Capital Fund, Dowagiac Area History Museum or Feed the Hungry. Those wishing to share a memory of James online may do so at www.clarkch.com