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NOLAN FINLEY

Editor’s Note: Jim Mullins, RIP

Nolan Finley
The Detroit News

A small group, including me, gathered in a Garden City funeral home this week to say goodbye to Jim Mullins, a true Detroit success story.

Mullins, 82, left a tough life in the eastern Kentucky mountains as soon as he graduated from high school, betting an auto factory would be preferable to the coal mines that devoured his father. He signed on at General Motors’ Willow Run plant, bought a home, raised a family and generations of hunting dogs, and left for a comfortable retirement 30 years later.

Thousands of his generation played out a similar script in this town.

Mullins came to religion late in life, but when he did, he came to it fiercely, quitting a lifetime of hard drinking with a finger snap and pouring all of his energy into his small church.

I owe him a great debt. He loved and took care of my mother, and she him, for more than 25 years. He also loved and amused my children and grandchildren. He was a good man. He earned whatever rewards are in store for him.