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In loving memory of
James Hafner
  • Passed away on May 28, 2022

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James Hafner, age 89, of Summerfield, FL, passed away with his family by his side on May 28, 2022.

Our husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather was a kind man; a gentle man. He was happily married for 69 years. When it came to his children dad was not only into quality time, he was also into quantity time. He loved being with his children so much that our mom and he created a home that his children and their friends always wanted to be around. If you were fortunate to hang out at the Hafner home you know the loving and accepting place they made. Our mom and dad loved hosting the annual Hafner Christmas party where our dad always made raw Kibbi and grape leaves. Dad was a veteran of the Korean War. He was humble. Dad worked hard but understood that no man is self-made. He always marveled at his life and his many blessings. Dad was a devout Catholic and had the faith of a child. He simply believed. He was proud to work in Human Resources for the Chrysler Corporation for 32 years back when the big three were still the Big Three. He enjoyed playing softball and had a quick glove even when he was a rookie in an age 70 and older league. He loved playing catch with his son and his son loved playing catch with him. Dad was a fan of Michigan football. He was a long-time season ticket holder who could tailgate with the best of them. He thought Bo Schembechler should be Michigan’s only coach and Bob Ufer its only announcer. Dad was certain that in heaven Ernie Harwell would do the play by play for the Tigers. And right now Ernie is saying “A man from Saline, Michigan caught that ball.”

Jim is survived by the love of his life, Gloria; his daughter, Kim (Hafner) Essenmacher and her husband Dave; his daughter Dawn Hafner Martin and her husband Bill; his son, Tim Hafner and his wife Mary; his daughter Beth (Hafner) Perry and her husband Mike; ten grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

A celebration of a great life will take place at Weber’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan on Saturday, August 13, from noon to 3:00pm. The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Brandley Hospice. In lieu of flowers, consider praying a rosary in memory of Jim; send a contribution to Bishop Grady Ministries at https://www.bishopgradyvillas.org/donate; or make a contribution to Hospice of Marion County at www.hospiceofmarion.com, or your local hospice.

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  1. Christine Ingersoll says:
    12 Jun 2022
    This is such a beautiful tribute to a life well lived. My condolences and best wishes to this wonderful family .

  2. Marti Smiley Childs says:
    01 Jun 2022
    What a beautiful tribute! I'm happy to hear you could all be with him when he passed. <3

  3. Trish Longstaff says:
    01 Jun 2022
    I am so sorry to hear about Jim's passing. I will miss seeing him at the Women's Softball games at Spruce Creek South. My fondest memory of Jim was when Dawn painted his head wrap blue. I called him Papa Smurf.

    My deepest sympathy to Gloria, Kimmie, Beth, Dawn and Tim.

    God Speed Papa Smurf

  4. Trish Longstaff says:
    01 Jun 2022
    To the Hafner Family,
    I am truly sorry about Jim's passing. I will definitely miss seeing him at our Women's Softball Games in Spruce Creek. The funniest memory of Jim that I had was when Dawn painted his head wrap blue. I called him Papa Smurf.

    My deepest sympathy to Gloria, Kimmie, Beth, Dawn and Tim.

    God Speed Papa Smurf

  5. Kelly Kieffer says:
    01 Jun 2022
    Love you Hafner family❤️ We’re so blessed that we were able to spend time with your family in Florida. We will miss Uncle Jim’s smile, hugs & his conversations at get together’s. Sending Love, Tom , Kelly and your loving sister Mary xo

  6. Scott and Julie Skinner says:
    01 Jun 2022
    My Dear Hafner Family, So very sorry to hear of your Father’s passing, he was truly one of our great memories growing up in Saline. Please give hugs to everyone, especially your Mom. God has another Great Angel in Heaven. God Bless you All!! RIP Mr. Hafner!

  7. Cathy Youngs says:
    01 Jun 2022
    Dear Gloria, Kim, Dawn, Tim and Beth,
    I know your hearts are hurting right now. Mine is hurting for you. Jim was, to put it simply, just a good man. I knew it from the day I first met him.
    I was a newcomer to your group of friends. Your Husband/Dad was so welcoming and very glad to see me whenever I visited. Loved your Christmas parties and can still taste Kibbi to this day. I remember dressing one of my babies in a U of M outfit when we came to one of those parties too just for Jim. He loved it!

    You certainly got it right about Beau Schembechler and Ernie Harwell. Jim is enjoying tossing footballs to Beau and playing catch with Ernie for sure.

    I believe Jim lived a happy, full, complete life thanks to Gloria, all of his children and his sons-in-law and daughter-in-law. If Jim could have hand picked spouses for his children, he would have picked all of you. Grandpa and Great Grandpa I am sure will be truly missed. You all made him so very proud. You could tell by that beaming smile Jim always had on his face.

    The world has lost a great person. Jim has become an angel and will continue to watch over you from heaven. I am so deeply sorry that Jim has departed, but look forward to celebrating him with all of you in August.

    Sending you all a huge hug and much love.

  8. Terri (Stilwell) Wright says:
    01 Jun 2022
    Dear Hafner Family,
    so sorry to hear of your loss, what a wonderful life,& wonderful family.
    Your in my thoughts.

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