Cover photo for James F. Washburn's Obituary
1936 James 2023

James F. Washburn

May 13, 1936 — May 18, 2023


James “Jim” F. Washburn, 87 of Kalamazoo, passed away at home with his loving wife by his side on May 18, 2023. He was born on May 13, 1936, to Herbert and Mildred (Godfrey) Washburn in Grand Rapids, MI.

Jim graduated from Grand Rapids Central High School and enlisted in the United States Air Force. He worked for the former National Water Lift on many programs including Hi Mag and the Harrier projects. Jim retired from Armstrong International in Three Rivers, MI where he received his first and only patent using RF frequency.

Jim always continued his education, even taking classes at Western Michigan University into his 50s. He was always learning, and his interests were never limited. He loved to study the planets, world history, WWII history, theology, anatomy, and recently became interested in learning about beer!

Jim married the former Dawne Prange on August 8, 1980, at Westwood United Methodist Church in Kalamazoo. They enjoyed walking along beaches and going to the Y. They enjoyed many vacations up north and across the United States, especially Yellowstone National Park to visit Mt. Washburn.

Jim is survived by his wife of 42 years, Dawne Washburn; nieces Holly (Carmen Allison) DeMaagd, Elizabeth DeMaagd, Amy (Todd Ehrich) DeMaagd, and Shannon Knight; nephews John (Manon) DeMaagd, Robert DeMaagd Jr., Jason (Charmica) Knight, and Jack D. Prange II; sister-in-law Annette (Tony) Swint; brothers-in-law Jack Prange and Jeff (Julie) Prange; and several great-nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister Mary DeMaagd and her husband Robert; parents-in-law Charles H. and Catherine Prange; brother-in-law Thomas Prange; and a nephew Charles Knight.

Jim will be laid to rest with full military honors at Fort Custer National Cemetery on June 7, 2023, at 12:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in honor of Jim to Centrica Care Navigators. To view Jim’s personalized webpage please visit

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James F. Washburn, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Committal Service

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Fort Custer National Cemetery

15501 West Dickman Road, Augusta, MI 49012

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