James Edgerton McCartney

Lansing, MI

James Edgerton McCartney “Jim” left us on Sunday, November 29nd, so he could once again dance with his wife, Mary.  Jim was born October 8, 1927 in Youngstown, Ohio to Edgar and Eva McCartney. He was later joined by his sister, Fran (Russell).  After graduation from High School, Jim spent one year at the Coast Guard Academy before transferring to “The Ohio State University” (GO GREEN!).  This was the best move he ever made because that is where he met Mary Holden Browder who became his wife on July 1, 1950.  They had a love affair that lasted the next 60 years until Mary’s death in 2010. Jim traveled extensively with Mary including visiting the British Isles, Europe, Eastern Europe, The Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and China.   Even after Mary’s death, Jim continued to travel; a trip back to England, multiple visits to Stratford, Canada, and visiting family were only a few of his excursions.

Jim was a Certified Public Accountant for over 60 years and led the firm that bore his name for the    majority of that time. He developed a national reputation for his work with Independent Telephone Companies, and this included his participation and leadership in the industry’s philanthropic organization “ITPA,” “Independent Telephone Pioneer Association.”

While Jim graduated from Ohio State (GO WHITE!), he became a diehard Spartan.  Season tickets to football and basketball, traveling to bowl games including the 2014 Rose Bowl, watching a basketball game on an aircraft carrier, cheering on The Green & White to a recent victory over his Alma mater, season tickets at the Wharton Center, and his scholarship fund through the School of Business are testimonies that his blood runs green.

But, most importantly, was that Jim was a devout Christian. His family will tell you that he never went to bed without reciting The Lord’s Prayer. He was an active member of Asbury United Methodist Church for over 49 years where he sang in the choir and held multiple leadership positions.  He also volunteered his time to the United Methodist Church locally, statewide and at the national level.  Jim believed that the best way to practice your faith was through one’s acts.  Over his life time, he volunteered in multiple organizations including PTAs, Kiwanis, and Boy Scouts; he supported food banks, rescue shelters, and was always there with a smile and a hug.  While his paper weight collection is extensive, his collection of friends is even more impressive.

Jim is survived by his three children: Mary “Elaine” McCartney Priester (William), David McCartney (Jeanne), Rob McCartney (Shirley); seven grandchildren:  Zachorie Priester, Melanie Butler (Greg), Caleb McCartney (Lyndsey), Jacob McCartney, Katie Priester,  Jennifer Scarborough (Chad Edgar), and Greta McCartney-Briere (Kevin); and three great-grandchildren: Olivia Butler, Matthew Butler and Aleksi Briere. He is also survived by his sister, Fran Russell, his two sisters-in-law, Elaine Davidson and Mildred Corsett, and over 30 cousins, nieces, nephews, as well as hundreds of friends that are as close as family. We will all miss you Jim – – Say “Hi” to Mary for us.

Visitation will be held on Friday, December 18, 2015, at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel, 325 W. Washtenaw St., Lansing, MI from 2:00pm to 4:00pm and 6:00pm and 8:00pm. A celebration of Jim’s life will be held Saturday, December 19, 2015, at Asbury United Methodist Church, 2200 Lake Lansing Rd., Lansing, MI at 3:00pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of Lansing – Stoneleigh Residence, or the Asbury United Methodist Church Music Program.

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8 Messages to “James Edgerton McCartney

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C Murrill Colburn
December 1, 2015 at 10:13 pm

Your Dad will sorely missed.
I worked with him on both Telephone Company and Telephone Pioneer issues for many years.
So many wonderful memories
Jim will always be a part of Michigan Telephone history
May he rest in peace

Cindy Parsons
December 3, 2015 at 10:40 am

My mother, Carol Ball, was close friends with Jim and Mary. I enjoyed talking with Jim every year at Annual Conference. When I was a brand new pastor he happened to be in the town where I served so he came to worship at my church and then took me out to breakfast — where they gave him a discount because he had the church bulletin showing he had been to worship that day. He loved that! I enjoyed his bright mind and will sorely miss the family connection to both Jim and Mary.

Gordon Caverly
December 3, 2015 at 10:55 am

Jim was an ICON in the telecommunications industry. He was a leader and a friend and will be missed dearly in the future. I was associated with Jim and his companies and activities for over 20 years and gladly call him a friend and a valued business colleague!!

My Condolences to the McCartney Family!


Gordon Caverly

December 4, 2015 at 8:33 pm

Fifty seven years ago Jim came to Midway telephone Company as auditor counselor advisor guiding us to become a successful company. He also became my true friend, stayed at our home during audits and annual meetings,became involved with our family. Jim was honest humble and a true Christian. REST IN PEACE JIM FRIEND BOB.

Jeff Williams
December 14, 2015 at 8:50 pm

As Chairperson and fellow campus ministry supporter, I offer the condolences, gratitude and compassion of the West Michigan Conference Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry, one of those beyond-the-local-church communities to whom Jim belonged. Having worked in public accounting before the ministry, it also was easy to talk with Jim about the accounting life. His deep commitment to campus ministry provided a healthy perspective on our common work.

Robert Nelson
December 16, 2015 at 7:33 pm

Jim McCartney was that rare combination of a warm and generous family man and a serious and dedicated businessman. Jim was a member of the Lansing Kiwanis Club for almost 50 years and never turned down a request to help the club.

Thom Sumbler
December 17, 2015 at 1:47 pm

My condolences to the entire McCartney family. While I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing James McCartney very well personally, I have had the privilege of working with his son Dave for several years. Dave has always spoken so highly of his dad I’ve seen the closeness within the family. Mr. McCartney was known as a bright and kind man with the highest of integrity. That is also how I’ve known his son and as we all know, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire family.

Lisa Skoczylas
December 18, 2015 at 8:48 am

I had the honor of working with Mr. McCartney for over 16 years at McCartney & Company, PC. He was a wealth of knowledge and I learned a lot from him. It won’t be the same not seeing him stop by our new home (Maner Costerisan) to visit. He and Mary made sure that my kids had an advent calendar every Christmas season! May his family know that he showed my family every kindness and we are truly going to miss him.


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