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Eleanor M. James

October 30, 1930 June 23, 2020
Eleanor M. James
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Obituary for Eleanor M. James

Eleanor M. James, a long-time resident of Milford, died on June 23, 2020, at the age of 89, peacefully in her sleep after a long struggle with dementia. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dale D. James, in 1990, a daughter, Deanna M. James, and son, David L. James.

Eleanor was born in Mexico on October 30, 1930. Her parents brought her and her brother Simon to Detroit in 1932. In 1938, when Eleanor was seven, she lost her parents, and she and her brother went to live in a Catholic orphanage near Lansing, Michigan. After four years in the orphanage, her mom’s brother, Rudolph Pacheco, finally got custody of the two kids and he raised them along with three of his own daughters. Eleanor always spoke very fondly of her uncle who died from cancer when she was 19.

It was around that time or shortly afterward when Eleanor met her future husband Dale while she was working at Greenfields in Detroit as a waitress, and he was a chef. They married a couple years later. By 1958, they had three small children, and moved their growing family to Milford. They eventually had two more children.

When the kids were teenagers, Eleanor went to work at Jumpin’ Jeans in Milford and later worked at Stan the Pants Man in Highland. She retired from Stan the Pants Man around 1987 when her daughter Deanna was diagnosed with cancer. Deanna passed away in 1988, and then Eleanor lost her husband Dale two years after Deanna. A few years later, she decided she wanted to get back to work and, at 65, started a 15-year career as a daycare worker. She cared for many children during those years, and worked for All-stars Daycare in Milford until she was 80 years old.

Eleanor and Dale loved to entertain friends at their home and there were always many neighborhood kids in the family pool. Even after Dale’s death in 1990, Eleanor continued to host the family holidays. There was nothing she loved more than to have all her kids and grandkids at the house for dinner or a holiday celebration. She lived in their family home until shortly before her death.

She is survived by her children, Dale A. (Jayne Walker) James, Debbie (Greg) Whitefield, Danny (Kathy Harrison) James; grandchildren, Shawn (Wayne) Macklin, Bill (Heather) James, Heather Nelson, Jason (Joanna) Hayden, Jenna Hayden, Jessica James; great grandchildren, Jaden Macklin, Elijah Macklin, Kadin James, Christian James, Lexi Nelson, Mason Nelson, Elizabeth Hayden, Kaylin Hayden, Brecken Johnson, and great great granddaughters, Addilyn and Sophia.

The family is planning a small private service.

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