James Staple ’64

Staple, James Allan 78, passed away peacefully in his home in Holland, MI on August 22.

He is survived by his wife Louise (Garter); children Rebecca (Matthew) McFarland, Elizabeth McKenzie, David (Marta) Staple, former son-in-law Robert McKenzie; grandchildren Rachel and Maggie McFarland, Lilly McKenzie, Ramona and James Staple; sisters Jeanne (Frank) Klobucher, Joanne (Mike) Prince, and Cheryl (Dale) Merz; many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews. Preceded in death by his parents William and Rena (Doorn) Staple, brother Ronald (Mary) Staple, sister Sandra Staple, and niece Katie Merz.

Jim was born in Muskegon, MI on May 18, 1942. He graduated from Muskegon Heights High School in 1960, where he was a member of the Debate Team and Class President. Jim paid his way through college by painting for the Muskegon Heights Board of Education. While at Hope College, he was a proud member of the Omicron Kappa Epsilon fraternity and earned a BA in English Literature. Hope is where he met his future wife, Louise Garter of Grand Rapids, whom he hitchhiked from Muskegon to see on weekends throughout the summer.

Jim and Louise were married on January 16, 1965. In addition to his undergraduate degree, Jim earned an MBA at Western Michigan University and after retirement an MA, also from Western, in Counseling Psychology. He served in the Army Reserves from 1966-1972. Jim spent the last 26 years of his career at Herman Miller, Inc. in various marketing roles, retiring as Director of User Research. He enjoyed working in that creative environment which allowed him to meet and collaborate with many famous designers and help bring beautiful, iconic furniture to the public.

The most important thing in Jim’s life was his family. He loved spending time at Lake Michigan, going on family vacations, and eating at Fricano’s Pizza, of which he was a loyal patron for over 63 years. He appreciated modern art, classical music, the Michigan Wolverines, and the Blue Angels. Jim loved cooking extravagant meals for his family and was famously known for proclaiming “there is more bread in the kitchen”.

Jim will be remembered as an amazing spouse, father, grand-father, sibling, uncle, co-worker, and friend.

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