Cover photo for James G. Sattelmeier's Obituary
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James G. Sattelmeier

January 7, 1932 — February 22, 2023


James G. Sattelmeier


James Sattelmeier, 91, died February 22, 2023, in Petoskey, MI, after a short illness.  He was born January 7, 1932, in Detroit, the son of Paul and Ruth (Turk) Sattelmeier. 

Survivors include his wife, Karen; and his three children, Karen (Craig) White, Sharon (Daniel) Comiska, and David (Cynthia Zagar) Sattelmeier; grandchildren Kathryn Geiger (Matthew), Andrew White, Keaton Drum, Trevor (Megan) Sattelmeier, Patrick Sattelmeier, Spencer Sattelmeier; and great grandchildren Henry Geiger, Emerson Drum, Nora and Wesley Sattelmeier.  He is also survived by his sisters, Lois Englebart and Doris (Kelton) Thomson.  He was predeceased by his brother Gerald Sattelmeier.

Jim attended Bethany Lutheran School, Detroit, and Cass Technical High School.  Following high school, he attended Concordia Theological Seminary in Springfield, Illinois, and finished his Bachelor's degree at the University of Detroit, and Masters in school administration at Eastern Michigan University.  In his career as an educator, he taught at various schools in the L’Anse Creuse District, was principal of Marie C. Graham School and acted as Business Manager for the district.  

Jim was a past member and president of the Mt. Clemens Ski Club, a long-time member of the Model T Club of Detroit, a past commodore of the Palm Beach Sailing Club, and performed on the stage at The Players, a Detroit theatrical club. Those who know him will recall he seldom left home without his ukulele, and it didn’t take much encouragement to stop what he was doing and play a song or two.

After retirement, Jim and Karen set off in their trusty trawler, making their way from Lake Saint Clair all the way to Key West, Florida, where he and Karen lived on the boat with their sea-going cats, for 10 years of freedom and adventure.  They eventually made their way back to Grosse Pointe, and finally Petoskey to be close to family.

Jim was a friend to all, always willing to lend a hand, or a hammer as the case may be.  He was a skilled builder and helped many friends accomplish numerous building projects wherever he happened to be.

Jim will be interred at Historic Trinity church in Detroit near Peggy, his first wife and mother of his children. The church has special meaning to Jim, being from a long line of Lutheran ministers, the altar from his grandfather’s church is on display in the basement.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on May 9, 2023, at Historic Trinity Lutheran Church, 1345 Gratiot Ave., Detroit MI.  Visitation will begin at 10:00 AM. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Historic Trinity Lutheran Church or Little Traverse Bay Humane Society. Please share your memories and personal messages with the family on his guestbook below.

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