Jimmy Edmond Cretens

BARK RIVER – Jimmy Edmond Cretens, 82, of 1592 12th Road, Bark River, passed away at Marquette General Hospital unexpectedly on Wednesday evening, May 8, 2013.

He was born on Sept. 27, 1930, in Escanaba, son of Andrew and Ardell (Burke) Cretens. Jimmy attended Webster Elementary School, and then Escanaba Junior and Senior High Schools. Jimmy got a welding degree from Cloverland College in Escanaba.

Jimmy served in the Marines during the Korean War. He received the sharp shooter medal and was the head of the welding department and taught welding to the Cold Weather Battalion in Ocean Side, Calif., which is where he was stationed.

On Aug. 26, 1961, James Cretens married the former Elaine DeGrave at St. Thomas Church.

He was employed with Harnischfeger as a welder for 30 years, retiring in 1982 when the plant closed. Jimmy also was employed by Flag Ship Farms taking care of horses. He took on the responsibility of making and taking care of the Bark River Community Ice Rink for many years.

Jimmy enjoyed gardening, woodworking, painting, bird watching, and tinkering on old cars.

He enjoyed skating and was a member of the Escanaba Figure Skating Club since he was 6 years old.

Survivors include his wife Elaine of Bark River; seven children, Jill (Andy) Graham of Victorville, Calif., Janie (Derek) Beck of Apple Valley, Calif., Julie (Otto) Polfus of Carney, Jody (Keith) Russell of Ft. Meyers, Fla., Jimmie Cretens and Jeannine Cretens both of Escanaba, Jesse (Erin) Cretens of Bark River; 19 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; sister, Mary (Tony) Vandermisson of Escanaba; and brother, William Cretens of Rapid River.

Jimmy was preceded in death by his parents; infant daughter, Theresa Louise; and brother, Louie Cretens.

Visitation will be on Monday, May 13 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Crawford Funeral Chapel in Bark River. The Bark River American Legion Rheaume-Knauf American Legion Post 438 service will be at 6 p.m.

The funeral service will follow at 7 p.m. at the funeral home with Pastor Christine Bergquist officiating.

A meal will follow the service at the Bark River United Methodist Church.

Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery.

The Crawford Funeral Homes are assisting the Cretens family.