Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation

For good. For ever.

Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for all citizens of Isabella County, now and for generations to come, by attracting and holding permanent endowed funds from a wide range of donors, addressing needs through grant making and providing leadership on key community issues.

James Dale Ervin Memorial Fund

The purpose of the James Dale Ervin Fund is to provide support to programs and services that will benefit the residents of the Rosebush community. Programs and services that benefit the community’s youth and recreation programs shall receive special consideration.

James Dale Ervin, or “Jamey,” was born in 1973 to a farm family. His grandfather used to say “farming is a disease,” and his mother thought there was a good chance Jamey caught it before he was born. As a young child, he was rarely found anywhere but at the farm and once he was older, he helped his dad run it. After graduating from high school, Jamey attended Central Michigan University for teacher education. In his 20s Jamey took a break from his program to work at Mears Engineering as a mechanic’s helper. He was constantly trying to learn things so he could come home and teach his father how to make his work around the farm easier. Jamey always tried to make life easier and more pleasant for those he was around. A neighbor, in a letter to his parents, recalled Jamey standing up to bullies in grade school. She wrote, “Jamey stood up for the less fortunate kids. Daring to do what many of us didn’t have the courage to do, including me.”

In sports, Jamey’s height and strength were assets. He played baseball, wrestled and led his football team as captain and most valuable player. Although very shy when he was young, sports helped Jamey gain confidence and coaches loved his work ethic, a work ethic that his father was sure he learned on the farm. Jamey was serious and tough when he had to be, but the rest of the time Jamey could be found with a smile on his face, and probably playing a prank. Jamey was well liked in his high school, and was crowned Homecoming king his senior year. A friend wrote to his parents, “His smile and his laughter were more contagious than that of anyone I’ve ever known. He had an incredible wit and true talent for making people laugh.”

Jamey’s family talks about him almost every day. Although they never knew him, his nephews know stories about him. They try to incorporate memories of him into special events. In his brother’s wedding, the ring-bearer pulled the flower girl as she rode down the aisle on a toy tractor Jamey had purchased for his brother the summer before he passed away. In his 26 years of life, Jamey left a legacy of fun, hard work, good will and love not only with his family and friends, but in the Rosebush community. He will forever be their good-humored and warm-hearted farm boy.