James E. “Jim” Labas, 97, a resident of Miller’s Merry Manor since Nov. Of 1997, has died of natural causes, having been in failing health for several years.
A former Hammond, Ind. resident, Jim had resided in Plymouth since 1954, he died at 12:35 a.m. on Thursday, October 19, 2000.
He was known as a vibrant and successful businessman who strongly supported the progress of Plymouth, Jim will be missed as one of our outstanding citizens.
Many remember how, in later years, when his eyesight had failed, Jim would sit on a bench outside of Treat’s Squire Shop and visit with people who walked by.
Born on February 21, 1903, in Chicago, Ill., Jim was the son of James and Rose Siket Labas. He received his education at Hammond High School.
On February 24, 1927, in Hammond, Jim and Marie Hilbrich were married. Marie died on January 19, 1978.
Jim was in automotive sales for over sixty years. In 1946 he opened a Lincoln – Mercury dealership in Elkhart, Ind. and from 1951 – 54 he operated a Buick dealership in North Manchester, Ind. In 1954 he came to Plymouth and embarked on his star pursuit, Labas Chevrolet. He was joined in 1956 by his son James L., and together they operated the dealership at the location now known as Martin’s Country Auto. Jim retired in 1976.
Jim served on many civic boards and committees, including the Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce. He was a past president of the Plymouth Toastmasters Club and former member of the Plymouth Moose Lodge 741. Jim was always willing to work for the betterment of the community. He loved golf, bowling and cards. A former member of the Plymouth Country Club, he aided in the work to organize and present the LPGA tournaments.
Shirley M. and Robert Shephard, a daughter and son-in-law of West Covina, Calif., and James L. And Donna Labas, son and daughter-in-law of Venice, Fla., together with 6 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren, survive Jim’s death. A brother, Louie Labas of Hessville, Ind., also survives.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Marie, a brother, and two sisters. Rose Bennett, a long-time friend and companion, has also died.
Visitation with the family will be on Sunday, October 22, 2000, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the JOHNSON-DANIELSON FUNERAL HOME, 1100 N. Michigan St., Plymouth. A Scripture Service with Sr. Melanie Rauh will be held at 7 p.m. in the funeral home.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. on Monday, October 23, 2000, in St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church, 612 N. Center Street, Plymouth of which he was a member, with Father Expedito Muwonge officiating.
Entombment will be in the New Oakhill Mausoleum, Plymouth.
Memorial gifts in Jim Labas’ memory may be made to the Marshall County Boys and Girls Club or St. Michael’s Mission 2000.