He was born on June 30, 1935, in Ironwood, son of Peter and Mabel (Bloomquist) Strelcheck. He attended local schools, graduating from A.D. Johnston High School in 1953.
In November 1954, James was inducted into the Army, completing basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. After basic, he served in Germany and was honorably discharged in August 1956. While in the service, he was awarded the Army of Occupation Medal (Germany) and the Good Conduct Medal.
He attended Gogebic Community College from 1957 through 1959, then went on to graduate from Northern Michigan College in 1961 with a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education. He spent his entire teaching career in the Wayne-Westland School District, retiring in 1987.
James returned to Bessemer to enjoy his retirement, spending his time hunting, fishing and enjoying his cottage at Lake Gogebic. His passion was sports of all kinds. He especially followed all of the Gogebic Range teams, the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Lions.
He is survived by two brothers, William (Mary) and Francis (Gloria), both of Bessemer; a sister-in-law, Rosemary Strelcheck, of Wakefield; six nieces and nephews, including Ginny (George) Boline, Bessemer, Jerry (Paulette) Strelcheck, Bessemer, Gary (Diane) Strelcheck, Olathe, Kan., Randy (Jennifer) Strelcheck, Kingsford, Diane (Kevin) Mellhon, Clive, Iowa, and David (Kristi) Strelcheck, Kaukauna, Wis. He is also survived by 11 great- nieces and nephews and five great-great- nephews and nieces.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and a brother, Donald.
Cremation has taken place.
At the request of the deceased, there will be no visitation or services.
Inurnment will be private at Hillcrest Cemetery in Bessemer.
Range Funeral Service and Crematory, Frick-Zielinski Funeral Home of Bessemer was in charge of arrangements.