Obituary: James Allison, 85, of Custer.

February 22, 2021

Jim Allison

Obituary: James Allison, 85, of Custer.

James (Jim) Edward Allison, lifelong resident of Custer Township, passed away peacefully on Friday, February 19, 2021 with his family by his side, at the age of 85.

Jim was born at home south of Custer to Orla and Arlie (Sanders) Allison during the memorable winter storms of 1936. While growing up on the family farm, Jim actively participated in the farming operations, including cattle drives on his horse.  Jim graduated from Custer High School in 1954. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the Army National Guard and later became a member of the Army National Guard Reserve until 1962. During this time he married Joan Quick and together they raised three children; Jayne, George, and John. He was an active volunteer for the Custer Fire Department and St. Mary’s Church.

Jim spent his entire life as a fourth generation farmer and had a love of the land. In the 1970s and 1980s, he enjoyed using his draft horses for lumbering, sleigh rides and pulling floats in local parades. Jim loved just about everything about farming – especially driving his tractors. He was particularly fond of Allis-Chalmers. 

When Jim did take a break from the rigors of the farm, he enjoyed taking his family on roller skating outings as he was quite the roller skate dancer, even into his late 40s. This stemmed from his younger years working as a skate boy at Johnny’s of Custer. Jim also had a lifelong interest in trains and old farm equipment. He was proud to be a member of the Western Michigan Old Engine Club and the Michigan/Wisconsin Antique Power Association. A highlight for Jim were his yearly trips to the U.P. to participate in the Old Engine Show. 

In his later years, Jim and Mary Shoup, a dear friend and companion, shared many life adventures together. Some of their favorites were long country rides, restaurant dining and trips to the U.P. 

While Jim lived what most would consider an ordinary life, no different from any other farmer of his generation, he will be remembered by his family as a faithful servant of the Lord and a hard worker devoted to his farm. He was a man of his word, someone who had a unique ability to socialize with everyone he met, and a deep love of reading which was the only thing that would cause Jim to take a break from conversation.  

Jim will be greatly missed by his children, Jayne (Greg) Knudsen of Ludington and George (Ginger) Allison of Custer, as well as his grandchildren, Chris (Carrie) Knudsen, Sarah (Dave) McMahon, Allison (James) Larsen, Kristen Klamer-Allison, and Joe Allison. Jim is survived by brother-in-law Bob Quick and sister-in-law Sue Quick, eight great-grandchildren, several nieces, cousins, and dear friends. 

Jim was preceded in death by his parents; infant twin siblings; son John Allison; former wife Joan Allison; and dear friend Mary Shoup. 

A Mass from the Order of Christian Funerals will be held on Friday, February 26, 2021 at 2 p.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church with Rev. Dan DePew presiding.  Visitation will begin at noon at the church. Social distancing guidelines will be practiced. Burial will take place at a later date at Custer Riverside Cemetery. 

Those who wish to remember Jim with a memorial contribution are asked to consider St. Mary’s Church or the Custer Fire Department. 

Please share your fond memories and photos of Jim at 

Arrangements were entrusted to Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington.