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B. J. Humphreys

October 27, 1930 — July 20, 2023

Saginaw, Michigan

B. J. Humphreys


B. J. Humphreys, 10/27/1930 - 07/20/2023, died peacefully at his home after a long and rich life. B. J. was born in Detroit, MI, attended Wayne State University for two years then graduated from the Detroit College of Law in 1957.  He was a proud veteran of the United States Air Force and served his country faithfully in the Korean Conflict.  B. J. met his wife of 65 years, Laura Lamson Humphreys, while both were working at the J L Hudson’s Department Store in Detroit. They were married while he was in the service.

Upon graduating from law school, the family moved to Saginaw where B. J. started a legal career that spanned nearly 66 years. An advocate of lifelong learning, B. J. earned his bachelor’s degree from Saginaw Valley State College in 1977. B. J. continued taking classes at SVSU and at Delta College until nearly exhausting the course catalogues. At the age of 74 he decided to finally learn to fly and soloed one year later.

B. J. had a longstanding association with SVSU beyond being an alumnus. He served as Chairman and board member of the SVSU Foundation and was active in many other ways.  For his service, SVSU honored B. J. with both the Distinguished Service Medallion and the Distinguished Alumni Award.  B. J. was an active leader at the Detroit College of Law (now MSU School of Law) from 1972 until 1989 serving on their board as a trustee and as Vice President and as Secretary.  In 1982, DCL recognized B. J.’s contributions to the school by granting him a Doctor of Laws degree.


In addition to being devoted to his clients he served his community in many other ways. He was involved in organizations such as the Kiwanis Club, Salvation Army (even serving as a bell ringer), Saginaw General Hospital Foundation, First Congregational Church, United Way of Saginaw, and as a Trustee and President of the Saginaw County Bar Association.  B. J. was a longtime supporter of Hidden Harvest and the East Side Soup Kitchen and helped create the Hunger Solution Center.  Later in life he was frequently found on weekday mornings helping prepare and serve lunch at the Soup Kitchen and volunteering at the VA Hospital. B. J. was also a strong supporter of Delta College and taught business law courses there for several years.


B. J. was a philanthropic leader. He helped create and then served as an officer, trustee or legal counsel of the Wickson-Link Foundation, Nickless Foundation, Jennings Foundation, the Turner Memorial Trust, and the former Brunkow, Werth, and Zuelke Foundations. B. J.’s community service was ultimately acknowledged with the conferring of the Saginaw Community Foundation’s Frank N. Anderson Spirit of Philanthropy Award in 2016.


Laura and B. J. loved to travel. Together, they visited all 50 states and many foreign countries including China and Tibet when first reopened to foreign visitors. He loved boating, boats, and shopping for boats. When he and Laura weren’t Captain and 1st Mate on their own power or sailboat he could often be found serving as chief cook and bartender on someone else’s vessel. One of B. J.’s favorite maritime experiences was a round trip he and Laura took on a working Great Lakes freighter, the Reserve, as it traversed Lakes Erie, Huron, and Superior while picking up a load of taconite ore in Duluth, MN.


B. J. was predeceased by his wife Laura, in 2016, his parents, Ruth and Fred Humphreys, and his sister, Nancy Joyce Lanfrankie. B. J. is survived by his children, Sarah Humphreys (Lawrence Mason) of Au Gres, MI, John Humphreys (Martha) of Saginaw MI, and Susan Meyer (Stephen) of Okatie, SC. B. J. was proud of many things in life but was most proud of being a grandfather to six wonderful grandchildren and six amazing great grandchildren. He is also survived by his Beloved Friend, Dawn Marie Johnson, who meant so very much to him in his later years.


Cremation has already taken place.  Friends may call on the family on Friday, August 18th from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Case’s Funeral Home, 4480 Mackinaw Rd. Saginaw, MI 48603. A private burial for the immediate family will follow. In lieu of flowers the family suggests a memorial donation in his name to the East Side Soup Kitchen, 940 E. Genesee Ave. Saginaw, MI 48607, or Emmaus House 733 S. 14th St., Saginaw MI 48601.

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