Thursday, July 14, 2022
4:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Turowski Life Story Funeral Homes
Livonia, West of Middlebelt
30200 Five Mile Rd.
Livonia, MI 48154
*Rosary 7:00 PM
Friday, July 15, 2022
10:30 AM EDT
St. Michael The Archangel Parish
Livonia, MI 48150
*Instate 10:00 AM
Life Story / Obituary
Reflecting on the life of Jim Colliton, words such as fun-loving, devoted, and compassionate come to mind, yet the word that is most fitting to describe him is selfless. Jim had a generous heart and loved to gather his family together over the years. A true outdoorsman, he participated in every hunting season and shared his love of nature with his family. Exceptionally generous and caring, he leaves behind a beautiful collection of memories sure to be shared for generations to come.
Not much could be said about the 1940s without some reference to WWII. James M. was born to Stella and Jim Colliton on November 14, 1944, in Detroit, Michigan. Born the second oldest in a family of four children, his birth brought great joy and happiness into their lives at a tumultuous time in history.
Growing up in Dearborn with his older brother, Joe, and younger siblings, Jack and Marianne, Jim lived a typical childhood of the times. Most of his summer days were spent outdoors playing ball and swimming yet the special highlight of each summer were the trips they made to the family farm in Reese, Michigan. These early years shaped his vision of the importance of family spending time with his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. The farm life seemed always to help make hard times much easier to handle and provided many happy memories. Jim and his brothers were especially close throughout childhood and participated in Boy Scouts. There was always a fair share of mischievousness whenever they were together! During his middle and high school years, Jim ran track and played football. Along with his sports, he also proudly led his graduating Class of 1963 from Fordson High School as class president.
Shortly after graduating, Jim was drafted into the United States Army in October 1966 and was relocated to Colorado Springs. It was here that he met his future bride, Jan, in November of 1967. Luckily, his unit that was headed to Vietnam was deactivated and his time in Colorado was extended. Jim proposed in May of 1968 and he and Jan married on September 4, 1968. Once he was formally discharged, they returned to Michigan later that fall. Jim finished college and started his thirty-year teaching career in 1972. Later that same year, the happy couple bought their first home in Coventry Gardens, in Livonia. As their family grew to include three wonderful children, Kelli in 1976, Jamie in 1977, and Michael in 1980, they needed more room and moved just seven houses down the road!
As a father, Jim thrived in his years raising his children. Active throughout their lives, he never missed their special milestones and celebrated their many successes. Family dinner was homemade every night, Mass was attended every Sunday, and Holy Days and holidays were always spent together. Over the years, he and Jan have enjoyed hosting their family over for countless meals and ensuring a good time was had by all! They loved planning for the annual Colliton Poker party for the past twenty-five years and watching their family grow. A strong provider, Jim supported his family as a classroom teacher. He absolutely loved being a teacher and never felt like he worked a day in his life! He truly considered his students part of his family. Over the years, he developed many friendships with colleagues and their families and was always interested in hearing from his former students. As much as Jim loved being a dad, he was over the moon to be a grandpa! A teacher at heart, he loved teaching his kids and grandkids about anything in nature including squirrels, birds, fishing, hunting, gardening, as well as many details about the moon.
Throughout his life, the outdoors have played a key role in Jim’s life. He was an avid hunter and fisherman. He looked forward to deer camp and fish camp alike. He later was involved with mushroom hunting and gardening. There wasn’t a hunting season he missed as he hunted pheasant, turkey, and deer! Jim spent all but a couple of years at Hunting Camp on his birthday since he was born one day before the opening day of rifle season! When it came to fishing he loved to fish during any season and often caught smelt, trout, and walleye. After the kids were grown, he and Jan traveled extensively throughout the country visiting their kids and close friends and family. Jim and Jan shared a very special marriage and were a loving example for their children. He enjoyed the simple pleasures in life. Jim was content to watch animals, play cards, and plan the next get-together. Nothing brought him greater joy than watching his family grow. Described as faithful and loving, Jim leaves behind a legacy of living life to the fullest. May his loved ones never doubt the immense love he held in his heart for each and every one of them and may his memories be eternal.
James M. Colliton, age 77, passed away on July 9, 2022. He was the beloved husband of Janice for 53 years, loving father of Kellianne (Tom Gondick) Colliton, Jamie (Nathan) Yolles, and Michael (Laura), and dearest grandfather of Sam, Jack, Noa, Nick, Emma, Cate, and reunited with Cecelia. James was a dear brother of Joseph (Dianne), Jack (Jan), and Marianne (Charles) Ray. James proudly served in the US Army. He retired from the Livonia Public Schools after 30 years of dedicated service. Visitation will be held on Thursday, July 14, 2022, from 4-8 pm with a Rosary at 7 pm at Neely-Turowski Funeral Home, 30200 Five Mile Rd., Livonia, Michigan. Instate Friday, July 15, 2022, from 10 am until the time of Mass at 10:30 am at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Parish, 11441 Hubbard, Livonia, Michigan. In lieu of flowers or memorial contributions, please consider planting a tree in honor of James M. Colliton and tag him on Facebook.