US Army

James "Sars" Courtney

November 30, 1932 ~ July 7, 2023 (age 90) 90 Years Old



Memorial Service ~ Saturday July 22, 2023

Gathering 9:30am         Mass 10:00am

Basilica of Ste. Anne de Detroit

1000 St Anne St, Detroit, MI 48216


Inurnment and Military Honors to follow:

Holy Sepulchre Catholic Cemetery

Southfield, Michigan


Memorial Contributions may be made to:

Lewy Body Dementia Association 

912 Killian Hill Road S.W., Lilburn, GA 30047


James, or Sars as close family and friends called him, was born in Detroit on November 30, 1932 to James and Mary Courtney.  He made his transition from this life on July 7th. 

After World War II the family moved from the city to a farm in Milford where he helped raise chickens and a horse he and his siblings called “Teddy”.  Sars graduated from Catholic Central High School in 1950.  He would often tell the story that after High School he thought it would be a good idea to go to California, so he and a buddy hitchhiked their way to LA.  Upon returning he entered the US Army where he was stationed at Ft. Benning, Georgia.         

      Sars was no stranger to a good day of working hard, and as such did many different things for a living over the course of his lifetime: Property manager, driver, restaurant owner, factory worker and as a ticket booth operator for the airport once he entered retirement. His love of trains, even saw him taking up a job driving train engineers back and forth from the engine to the caboose, upon his initial retirement from General Motor after 35 years.

    While hard work was a big part of his life, his family was most important.  He never missed a birthday, supported his kids in many activities including gymnastics, dance recitals, cheerleading competitions, band competitions baseball, and football. He was always thinking and doing little things with and for his family. On special occasions, like Valentines and Sweetie’s Day, he doted on his girls with special treats and gifts. He loved to tell the story of taking his teenage daughter and her cousin to see the artist Prince perform at Fox Theatre from a bathtub. He took pride in spending time with grandchildren, taking them to the lake for a day of fishing and swimming, or getting together on a game day around the house.

    No matter what it was, he supported you.  He was especially proud of his children and his family.

Cherished Husband of 21 years to the late Angela. Beloved Father of James (Melissa Poirier) and Tisha James. Proud G-Pa of Devin, Ashley, Bobby, Jayla, Theodore, Eleanor, Vaughan and Great G-Pa of Alyssa, Alaiya and Braxton. Loving Brother of Patrick (Judy), Mary (Don) Synk and the late Dennis (Mary Kay). Dearest Friend, Manal Ali, who cared for him with great love. James is also survived by many other loving family and friends. James proudly served in the United States Army during the Korean War.

     Later in life he developed Lewy Body Dementia but continued to make an impact on the people around him. He was a dedicated Catholic, a huge Detroit Tigers fan and a proud parent and grand-parent. James died peacefully at his home in the presence of his close friend and caregiver, Manal. He will be missed but not forgotten.



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Memorial Gathering
July 22, 2023

9:30 AM to 10:00 AM
Basilica of Ste. Anne de Detroit
1000 St Anne St.
Detroit, MI 48216

Memorial Mass
July 22, 2023

10:00 AM
Basilica of Ste. Anne de Detroit
1000 St Anne St.
Detroit, MI 48216

Interment following funeral service
July 22, 2023

Holy Sepulchre Catholic Cemetery
25800 W. 10 Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48033


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