starks logo
James  Judd

James J. “Coach” Judd

December 29th, 1937 - December 24th, 2021

Coach's Obituary

James J. “Coach” Judd, 83, of Dowagiac, passed away on December 24, 2021 in Dowagiac. A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held on Monday, January 3, 2022 at 12 PM at Clark Chapel, 405 Center St., Dowagiac, with Pastor Sara Carlson officiating. Burial will follow at Riverside Cemetery. Friends may visit with the family one hour prior to service. Memorial contributions may be made to The Bea & Jim Judd Endowment Fund through Southwestern Michigan College. Those wishing to leave an online condolence may do so at www.clarkch.com

James was born on December 29, 1937, in North Baltimore. Ohio, to Kenneth & Elsie (Nigh) Judd. He graduated from North Baltimore High School in 1956. Following high school, James enlisted in the United States Army and proudly served our country from 1956 until 1960 as a Paratrooper. James was one of eight men, who were commonly referred to as the “Honest John’s”, that were trusted enough to guard the atomic bomb. This great privilege was because of his integrity and trustworthy character. Once he was honorably discharged, James continued his education by earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Findlay University and a Master’s Degree in Physical Education from Bowling Green University. On June 11, 1961, James married the love of his life, Beulah “Bea” Carpenter, in North Baltimore, OH. They were happily married for almost 53 years before her passing in 2014. James began teaching PE at Southwestern Michigan College and was their wrestling coach for over 30 years, proudly earning his nickname of ‘Coach’. In 1994, he was inducted in the NJCAA Coaching Hall of Fame. Teaching was his greatest joy; he was always sharing and teaching fun facts to anyone he would talk to. He also loved reading; he read every Arthur Conon Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes novel’s, as well as, every Agatha Christie novel. James was a proud member of the Dowagiac Elks Club and Moose Lodge.

James is survived by his sons, Todd Judd of Dowagiac and Jim (Judy) Judd of Cedar Rapids, IA; grandchildren, Tim, Jesse (Savannah), Annie (Ben), Gavin, Nate and Nick; and six great-grandchildren; sister Jean Ley and much loved nieces and nephews He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife and brother, Ken Judd.

Service Details

View the current service details below. Sign up for email or text updates to receive notifications of any changes to service schedules or important information.

Sign up for schedule updates