Cover photo for James Michael Paternoster's Obituary
James Michael Paternoster Profile Photo
1952 James 2022

James Michael Paternoster

August 12, 1952 — August 2, 2022

Portage

James Michael Paternoster (Jim, Cooks) passed away Tuesday afternoon, August 2nd, 2022 at his residence in Portage, MI. Jim was born August 12, 1952 in Iron Mountain, MI, the son of Thomas Albert Paternoster and Joy Ann Paternoster (Holtz). He grew up in Kingsford, MI before attending Michigan Technological University, where he received a B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering.

Jim worked at Harvard Industries in Albion, MI, formerly known as "The Malleable," from 1976 through the closing in 2002. He began as the plant metallurgist and with a knack for problem solving and the ability to inspire others, he was promoted to Department Superintendent and finally to Plant Manager. After the closure of Harvard Industries, Jim went on to hold executive positions at Dalton Corporation and then transitioned to Schupan & Sons Inc in 2005. Jim was the Vice President of Production Management and led various operations and projects, but his strongest impact came from his compassion and dedication to mentoring those around him. Those who worked with Jim describe him as one-of-a-kind, an exemplary leader and an even better friend.

In addition to his distinguished career, Jim touched many lives in the community. He was an avid supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters and was a member of the Cast Metals Advisory Board at Western Michigan University. In honor of his beloved wife, Annice O'Brien (deceased in 2006), one of his biggest passions was giving back to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Jim led the largest team and made generous contributions for countless years in the annual Race for the Cure event.

Jim was happiest when he was on the lake with loved ones, spending time up at camp, and enjoying his famous bloody marys with the golf crew. He was the life of the party, king of "no-shirt," and the most selfless person whose compassion and generosity was truly unmatched.

The influence that Jim had on his community was without measure, but his biggest success and most cherished aspect of his life are his children, Kevin and Kelsey. His spirit will continue to live on through them. Surviving are his two children, Kevin (Sarah) and Kelsey Paternoster; a brother, Dave Paternoster (Sue); a sister, Karen Ellis (Pat); and several nieces and nephews. Jim will forever live on as another spirit in the sky.

A memorial gathering with reception and a time of sharing will be held on August 14th at the Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services, 3926 South 9th St, Kalamazoo, MI 49009. The reception will begin at 12pm, and the time of sharing will begin at 2pm. Green Bay Packers jerseys and fishing gear are encouraged. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network .

To leave a memory online or a condolence for the family, visit https://www.langelands.com .

To order memorial trees in memory of James Michael Paternoster, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Gathering with Reception

Sunday, August 14, 2022

12:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Langeland Family Funeral Home Burial & Cremation Services

3926 South 9th Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49009

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Time of Sharing

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Langeland Family Funeral Home Burial & Cremation Services

3926 South 9th Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49009

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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