Cover photo for James B. Friend's Obituary
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James B. Friend

May 4, 1934 — November 22, 2020


James B. Friend, age 86, of Simonton Lake, Elkhart, passed away Sunday, November 22, 2020 at his home surrounded by his family after a courageous battle with ALS.

Jim was a member of the Local 292 Iron Workers Union for over 65 years, 10 of those years he taught Iron worker apprentice at IUSB. He retired from Sollitt Construction. He was a member of the Simonton Lake Sportsmens Club, where he received the sportsmen of the year award 7 times, helped stock the lake with walleye and most important taught his grandchildren how to fish. He was founder and chairman of Children’s Fishing Club. He impacted several people’s lives. He was a friend to all, always thinking of others. He was a member of Bristol United Methodist Church. He graduated from Elkhart Community Schools May of 2017.

He was born May 4, 1934 in Elkhart to Charles and Mary Friend. On May 7, 1977 at Bethel United Methodist Church in Elkhart, he married Jane A. Ellingwood who survives along with 5 children: Cindy L. (Joseph Thomas) Collins of Union, MI, Linda S. (Eugene) Jimison of Elkhart, Gary V. (Denise) Cromer of Upland, IN, Lora L. (David) Slaughter of Bowling Green, KY and Donna J. (Colin) Kelly of Marion, IN, 11 grandchildren, Shawn (Kimmey) Collins, Jamie (Eric) Kirklin, Leah (Michael) Runyon, Stephanie (Brandon) Sisley, Ashley (Luke) Recker, Jason Cromer, Maggin (Jason) Lahr, Sam (Lynde) Rick, Jacey Slaughter, James (Shawna) Lambert II and Toni (Josh) Smith; 30 great-grandchildren, Landri Collins, Joseph D. Collins, Payton Collins, Trey (Alexa) Collins, Kaija Kirklin, Eric Kirklin, Ekeyuia Wilson, Zakarria Kirklin, LaOvriana Kirklin, Icily Cromer, Dylon Hargis, Anna Hargis, Emmy Hargis, Alex Knappenberger, James Lambert III, Capri Lambert, Aiden Lambert, Sera Noe, Brooklyn Noe, Carter Smith, Jaxon Smith, Reese Smith, Avery Runyon, Finley Runyon, Ellis Runyon, Nolan Sisley, Marisa Sisley, Ahnalise Recker, Noella Recker and Emmett Recker; 11 great-great-grandchildren Silas Cromer, Aubrey Millsap, Kehlani Millsap, Layla Collins, Jeremiah Collins, Zander Collins, Bryson Mitchell, Taylor Coons, Ryder Rich, Halie Starks and Hanna Starks. He was preceded in death by a great-granddaughter, Olivia Sisley; his siblings, Robert Friend, Charles Friend, Edward Friend, Patty Hargrove, Harriett Fisher and Marjorie Gordon.

Many thanks to the caregivers from Home Instead and the VA ALS Clinic  who made his life more livable.

Due to COVID all services will be held privately.  Stemm-Lawson-Peterson Funeral Home, 1531 Cobblestone Blvd, Elkhart IN 46514 is assisting the Friend family. In memory of Jim please make donations to Simonton Lake Sportsmens Club, 51036 CR 11, Elkhart, IN 46514, Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center, Attn: Voluntary Services, 1481 West 10th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202 ( ) or Bristol United Methodist Church, 201 South Division Street, Bristol, IN 46507. Memories of Jim may be emailed to his wife, Jane at Please sign in on sign up genius to schedule your personal visitation time for Jim on Friday, November 27, 2020!/showSignUp/10c0d45a9ac22a3ffcf8-jimfriends


Bristol Community Church
201 South Division Street, Bristol IN 46507

Simonton Lake Sportsmens Club
51036 County Road 11, ELKHART IN 46514
Tel: 1-574-266-0153

Richard Roudebush VA Clinic, Voluntary Services
1481 West 10th Street, Indianapolis IN 46202

To send flowers to the family in memory of James B. Friend, please visit our flower store.



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