Date of Death: April 7, 2021
A memorial service and visitations will be held at Hohner Funeral Home at 1004 Arnold Street in Three Rivers Michigan. Visitations will be held on Wednesday, April 14 from 5-7 p.m. and Thursday, April 15 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. There will be a memorial service immediately following the Thursday visitation starting at 11 a.m. A video of the service is available here.
James (Jim) W. Best, 74, of Three Rivers, MI, lost his battle with Alzheimer’s disease surrounded by the love of his family on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.
He was preceded in death by his parents Eleanor A. (Richardson) Best and Grey J. Best; his sister Barbara Best; father-in-law Robert E. Dodge, mother-in-law Wathena (DeWitt) Dodge; and his brother-in-law Leon Bagwell.
He is survived by his wife Cheri (Dodge) Best; daughter Jaymi Best, son Troy (Trisha) Best; his grandchildren Abigail Best, Tate Best; brother Jerry (Barb) Best; sister-in-law Sandra (Dodge) Bagwell, brother-in-law Tracy (Donna) Dodge, nieces and nephews Cindy (John) Kuntz, Craig (Sandy) Best, Robyn (Tim) Coons, Sarah (Jesse) Kline, CJ Dodge, Mathew (Kelsey) Dodge, Rachelle Dodge and great-nieces and nephews.
Jim was a loving Son, Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Uncle, and Friend. He was an Entrepreneur, Educator and Coach who took pride in his work and always looked forward to the next hunting or fishing trip.
We are all comforted knowing that Jim is no longer ‘frustrated’ and that he finally has the peace he deserves.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be made to ALZ.org or threeriverspromise.com/donate.
Please Leave Your Condolences
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To the Jim Best family.
I am so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. Jim was one heck of a guy, I first met him in my senior year of High School at Niles. I was in his metals class, I remember him asking me why I was in there (it was second half of the year) and I told him it was because I couldnt get the hang of Chemistry and I either had to drop it or fail it. He said since I really wasnt there for the knowledge I should leave the room for the lower classmates who want to make something out of this class, so he told me to show up once a week, show him I could grind a tool bit, and he would give me a C for the class. He knew I was more into the Electronics career and was in my 3rd year there so I spent my spare time there or in band. Later on I got to know Jim really well as we became neighbors when my parents built a house out in Misty Acres. However since I was in tech school by then I didnt get to see Jim all that often. Jim was a great guy, and someone I will always respect and admire. I will miss you my mentor, friend and buddy. May your rest in eternal peace.
Liz and I are so sorry to hear about Jim. He is / was a great person and awesome teacher. The brief few years he molded my mind in the Niles High School machine shop made me a wonderful life. He told me to aspire to be a Tool & Die maker. Well i got my apprecticeship and NEVER forgot who inspired me. I have made a great living ALL BECAUSE OF MR. JIM BEST. They say you never die as long as you are remembered, if that’s the truth Jim is still with us because I will NEVER forget the best teacher a young man could ever have.
God speed Jim I love my dear first mentor.
Cheri, I am so sorry for your loss. Jim was such a kind good man .My heart hurts for yo.u
Cheri, My deepest sympathy for you and your children. As you know I understand how losing a loved one to this horrible disease is so heartbreaking. Jim is now healthy and happy in the kingdom of God.. “Death ends a life; Not a relationship.” Dr. Seuess.. Hugs to all!
Sorry to hear this – Coach Best was always a supportive figure from Rocket Football through our varsity success. I know he was equally supportive throughout the community, and was also a family friend. I’ll be thinking of Coach Best & family.
Thank you Dan. He loved all of his Football players and wrestlers! ~Jaymi
My thoughts and prayers go out to the whole Best family, Peace
Troy, I am so sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. Keeping you and your family in prayer during this difficult time.
Cheri, Troy, Jaymi and family
I will always remember Jim and the life lessons that he taught. He had a way of teaching you without you knowing he was teaching you (kind of sneaky). I will always be grateful for Jim and the time I spent with him as my coach, a boss, or just a friend.
My thoughts and prayers to you and your family
Cheri & Family,
We are so saddened and sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. He was a Great Guy and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
With Heartfelt Sympathy and Prayers,
Ken & Donna Kelly
We always had great times withJim and Sherry. They were great friends and neighbors.I will miss the times of help and friendship he and I shared. Good times. Thanks Jim RIP. See you again just not too soon. Regards Sherry.
Rest in Peace Coach Best… thank you for being that positive, impactful, role model and maker of young men…
Cheri and family, thoughts and prayers for you all.
Cheri and family, I’m sorry to hear this sad news. I knew of the struggles that were with this horrible illness and your living with it as well. He was a good man and now can find peace. My thoughts and prayers to you and all of your family.
Kathy Post Mehl
To the Family- Many a summer vacation were spent with Jim & Jerry and the Best family at Swan Lake thru the late 40s and early 50s. They were all wonderful people and great friends. I can see by the tributes that Jim left wonderful memories on the many people he touched during his lifetime. Prayers to the family and Rest in Peace my friend!
Sorry for your loss Troy and the Best Family what a awesome guy he was and coach to he will be missed . My thoughts and prayer’s go out to all of you .
Rest easy, Coach. We love you, and we won’t forget you.
I’m sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. I will always remember him working at Happy Landing and spending time on Clear Lake with his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you snd your family.
Cheri and family, Bill and I are so sorry to learn of Jim’s passing. He was a great influence on many young people through his coaching and life example. Our prayers are for comfort in the days to come. Bill and Linda Yates
Mr. Best was my auto shop, wood shop, and industrial ed teacher at TRHS in the late 90s.
What a great teacher, mentor, and friend! He taught us much more than by the book learning, but how to treat each other, and lessons in life. It sure sadens me of his loss. I sure will miss him and the words of wisdom. You were a great inspiration to us kids.
Hi Cheri, So sad about Jim😢Last time I saw him was about 3 years ago. I was just getting out of hospital.( Had a stroke). We stopped at McDonald’s And there was Jim. I was so excited to see him. I couldn’t speak to remind him who I was. He looked like he didn’t rember me😢But I remember giving him a big hug❤️I’m sure he will be missed by many❤️
To the Best family. I am so sorry to hear this sad news. My heart goes out to you. I lost my dad last year to the horrible disease of dementia. It’s truly a blessing when they get to go be at peace. But we end up losing our loved one twice. I remember Mr Best very fondly during our Happy Landing times. He had a lovely way with people. He will be missed by so many. Deepest thoughts and prayers to your family.
Love, Tracy Harden Szymanski
I’m so sorry for your loss. I know how proud Jaymi was of her dad and how much she loved him. Wishing the Best family peace as they celebrate a life very well lived. Sending my love and sincere condolences. RIP.
Hugs and prayers to you and your family. We all have many memories of Jim from the restaurant, the camp, and Church as well as his coaching. He is having a good reunion with the ones that have gone before. Love to you and yours. Maxine Isaac
To the best Coach and like a Dad to me. You taught me so much, I am grateful for that. You showed me confidence. You will be greatly missed, live you Coach Best and see you when I get there.
Cheri Jaymi and Troy I am sorry to hear about this we know he is now in peace and comfort for sure. I remember our days at Happy Landing and the fun times we spent with your family. My dad and mom had much respect for you dad. I pray for comfort for you all.
I am so saddened to learn of Jim’s passing. He was a wonderful influence on my sons and great friend to Greg. I know the frustration of Alzheimer’s and understand your comfort in knowing that it’s no longer there. May you all find comfort in your memories and love.
I’m so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. Jim was a wonderful man, mentor and coach! I will always have fond memories of him. My condolences to Cheri and the entire family. May he rest easy in heaven.
Cheri, so sorry to hear about Jim. He was one of the good ones. May he rest in peace in Heaven.
Cheri our deepest sympathies to you and your family. From the first time we met, you and Jim welcomed us like family. Jim and I become quite good friends, always willing to lend a helping when needed. He will be missed but never forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers to you and your family.
Love, Bill, Kim, Billy and Adam
My husband Scott Clupper remembers this man …deeply loved this man and is heartbroken over your loss. Prayers to you and the family. What a wonderful man….he will be missed
Please say hello to Scott, he was in my class and thank him. I know dad had a fondness for all his players and students!
Cheri and family
We are so sorry to hear about Jim’s passing.
He was such a great guy!
He’s at peace and will be missed
My deepest condolences to all of you.Jim was a great Coach,and person.My heart goes out to you Sherri.Much love and prayers.