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Charles James (C.J.) Bifulco was born in Huntington, New York on July 4th, 1928. Although, of course, he has a story to tell you about that! His driver’s license and official birth certificate indicate that his birthday is July 11th. Back in the day, babies were delivered by the local midwife in his Italian neighborhood. She would deliver one baby in a week, or several babies in a week. CJ was born on a very busy week! The midwife was also responsible for sending in all the notifications of birth to the county clerk’s office for the birth certificates. Sometimes there were so many babies born the midwife would get backed up with her “paperwork.” So, in July, 1928, she processed many birth certificates on July 11th, and just put that date on all of them!
For those of you who knew CJ, you are aware that he was a storyteller! Maybe you have been blessed with one of his stories. He joined the US Navy when he was only 16 because he wanted to serve his country. Following his tour he went to barber school on the GI Bill and while he was at the Pentagon he met Norma Jean Sutton, the “love of his life.” They were married in 1948 and celebrated 67 years of marriage before her death in 2016. He was a great example of a committed husband and father to his children and grandchildren. He was also passionate about his faith and his trust in Jesus Christ. His commitment to the Lutheran church was a great example to his family.
Anyone who knew CJ also knows that his joy in life, other than his family and barbering, was golf. Along with a few of his brothers, he caddied on Long Island as a teenager--and learned from the “pros.” He also had a love for Canada and traveled many summers seeing the beauty of forests, mountains, rivers and lakes with Norma. He was a retiree from GM, Fisher Body Trim Plant on Alpine in Grand Rapids, MI and was very proud of his time there.
CJ was preceded in death by his wife Norma Jean and is survived by his children, Mike and his wife Carol Bifulco, daughter Suzanne and son-in-law Ray Scholtens, and daughter Michele and son-in-law Rod Quick. He also had the joy of knowing several grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
A memorial service is being planned for Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at St. John's Lutheran Church, 209 N. Rowe St. Ludington, MI 49431. The family will greet friends one hour prior to the service.
Memorial contributions can be made to Immanuel St. James (ISJ Academy) Lutheran School, 2066 Oakwood Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505.
Immanuel St. James Lutheran (ISJ Academy)
2066 Oakwood Ave NE, Grand Rapids MI 49505