KEECH – James (Jim), age 61, of Sparta, peacefully passed away on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 surrounded by his loving family, after a brief illness. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dorothy and James Jr. Keech and mother in-law, Doris Virginia Lang. Jim is survived by his loving wife, Karen of 39 years, children, Jodi (Jayson) Mikula, James Edward Keech IV (Jennifer), grandchildren, Zara, Samantha, Ivy, and Dante. Also surviving are a brother, three sisters, and sister-in-law, special friend, who was like a brother, Franklin (Cindy) Smith, and many racing family friends. Jim was a retired Army Vietnam Veteran with over 22 years of service. He returned to his home town of Sparta after his dedication to the service to be a devoted husband, father and grandfather. In 2001 Jim discovered his passion of lawn mower racing. During the eleven years of racing he won three consecutive State Championships, and had great success at the National level. He was a great representative for the sport he loved dearly. Jim will be greatly missed by his immediate family and his extended racing family. A celebration of Jim's life will be held at the Beuschel Funeral Home, 5018 Alpine Ave., Comstock Park with a gathering of family and friends on Saturday, April 14, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the service at 1:00 p.m., Pastor Roger Keur and Pastor Chuck Steiner from Baptist Bible Church officating, and under the auspices of the Kent County Veterans Honor Guard. Those wishing to make a memorial contribution please consider the Keech family.