In Memory of
James J.
Bockelman

Obituary for James Bockelman

Bockelman, James. Passed away peacefully on Friday, May 11, 2018 at the Cartwright Hospice Residence in Saginaw, Michigan following a brave and nearly 50 year battle with Crohn’s Disease. Age 72. The son of the late William and Mildred (Draud) Bockelman, Jim was born on December 17, 1945 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He married Connie Collins, his loving wife of 46 years whom he adored, on August 20, 1971. She survives him. Jim was a 1964 graduate of Roger Bacon High School in Cincinnati, Ohio and earned his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Cincinnati. He devoted his career to running non-profit organizations and improving the economic well-being of cities and towns across the USA. Jim was President of the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce from 1987 to 2003, where he earned the distinction of Certified Chamber Executive. Earlier in his career, he ran chambers of commerce in Downers Grove, Illinois, Waterloo, Iowa, and Danbury, Connecticut, in addition to working at the chambers in Cincinnati, Ohio and Shreveport, Louisiana. Throughout his years in Saginaw, Jim helped establish many important institutions in the community including Saginaw County Vision 2020, Saginaw Future Inc., the Business & Education Partnership, the Minority Business Development Center, and the Bridge Center for Racial Harmony. In his retirement, he earned his Michigan teaching certificate and became a highly qualified teacher. Jim was well respected and proud of his accomplishments. In his spare time, he loved his trains, furniture refinishing, and home improvement projects. Jim’s priorities in life were his wife, three sons and their families in whom he took great pride.
Surviving besides his wife Connie are three sons and their spouses, Andrew Bockelman and his wife Christine, of Paris, France; Jonathan Bockelman and his wife Karey, of Avon, Indiana; Jeremy Bockelman, and his wife Jenny of Frankenmuth, Michigan; grandfather of Anna, Cooper, Nathaniel, Leah, Nicolas, Katelyn and Elizabeth; grand-doggie Nelson; sister of Terese Rasch and her husband Charles; sister of Mary Ann Latscha; brother-in-law to Catherine Johnson, Colleen (David) Foster, Cyril Collins, Chris (Margie) Collins, Colin (Nancy) Collins, and Arlene Bockelman; uncle to many nieces and nephews. Jim was preceded in death by a brother, William Bockelman Jr., and his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Cyril and Virginia Collins.
Honoring Mr. Bockelman’s wishes, cremation has taken place. Family will receive friends on Saturday from 9:30am until time of Funeral Mass at 10:30am at St. Boniface Church, Northside. Interment to follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Mustard Seed Shelter or Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.