James Daniel Kanitz


Kanitz, James 

Saginaw, Michigan

Beloved husband, father and grandfather passed away on Tuesday morning, March 8, 2022 at New Hope Valley Assisted Living in Saginaw. He was 89 years old. Jim was born on May 29, 1932 in Cedar Rapids, IA to the late Tharel T. and Marian (Geib) Kanitz. He married Emilie DeWeese on June 25, 1960 in Delphos, Ohio.  James attended The University of Michigan.  He was employed by US Graphite as a Sales Engineer, retiring after many years of service. He was a faithful and active member of First Congregational Church. 

Jim enjoyed spending time with his family, sailing on Clear Lake, gardening and was an active volunteer.  He volunteered at Covenant Hospital, the Saginaw Children’s Zoo, Castle Museum, First Congregational Church and Friends of the Library at Hoyt Library.  In 2012, he was named Saginawian of the Year.  When his children were young, he became a Saginaw Swim Official in order to be a part of their many swim meets.  Jim was an expert at puzzles - jigsaw, crossword, and Sudoku.  He also enjoyed woodworking, needlepoint, taking the scenic route on drives, and eating lunch at his regular table at the Panda House for 30+ years.  Jim also spent many, many Saturdays in Ann Arbor cheering on his Maize and Blue.

Thank you to the staff at Panda House for creating a special ‘Jim’ table for their longtime customer.  Thank you to the staff at New Hope Valley and nurses at Compassus Hospice for caring for Jim in his final days.

Surviving are his wife, Emilie Kanitz of Saginaw, MI; children, Kristin Kanitz (Mike Wygocki) of Madison, WI and Dan Kanitz of Shelby Twp, MI; grandchildren, Austen Wygocki of Minneapolis, MN, Jace Kanitz and Drew Kanitz of Shelby Twp, MI; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

James was preceded in death by his sister, Nancy (Kanitz) Steiger.

MEMORIAL SERVICE: A Memorial Service will take place at 11:00 a.m., Monday, March 14, 2022 at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 123 N. Michigan Avenue, Saginaw, MI 48602. Rev. Curt Norman will officiate.

VISITATION: Family and friends are welcome to gather at the Deisler Funeral Home, 2233 Hemmeter Road, Saginaw, MI on Sunday, March 13, 2022 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm. Visitation will continue at the church on Monday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service.  

MEMORIALS: In lieu of flowers, those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorials to Saginaw Children’s Zoo or Saginaw Castle Museum.

Please share your thoughts and memories with the family at the funeral home, church or through www.DeislerFuneralHome.com