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Jim was born June 4, 1951, in St. Joseph, Michigan. He was a lifetime Watervliet resident where he graduated high school in 1969. During high school he was a loved classmate, accomplished athlete, and All State football player.

After high school Jim went to work for White’s Excavating until he left to work the road commission for MDOT where he worked for 24 years. In his free time, most of the time you could find him fishing however, he also enjoyed camping, golfing, hunting, riding his motorcycle, and playing softball back in the Fish Corners Days.

Above everything Jim loved spending time with his family he leaves behind to cherish his memory. His loving family includes: three sons, Jim and Traci Kolenko, Eric and Kristen Kolenko, and Anthony Kolenko and his fiancé Rosie; a granddaughter, Kelly Kolenko; grandson Dominick; his love of 15 years and fiancé Sharon Pomeroy; his mom, Theresa (Butera) Kolenko; three siblings, Tom (Brenda) Kolenko, Joe (Andrea) Kolenko, and Chris (Gary) Tingue; several nieces and nephews; his many friends but some are like family such as Craig Camp, Dave Muth, Ken Benjamin, and Rockey Rudell; his dogs, Elvis, Priscilla, and Lucky; and his two granddogs, Millie and LuLu.

Jim died Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021 surrounded by family at Hanson Hospice Center in Stevensville.

His dad, Joseph Kolenko, precedes Jim in death.

Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Monday, Oct. 11, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Watervliet. Burial followed in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Watervliet. You are invited to leave a message of comfort for Jim’s family at


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