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Hero Down: Presque Isle County Deputy James ‘Jimbo’ Budnik Succumbs To Cancer

Presque Isle County Sheriff's Office Deputy James Budnick served his department for 10 years.

Presque Isle, MI – Presque Isle County Sheriff’s Office (PICSO) Deputy James “Jimbo” Budnik passed away peacefully at his home on Dec. 5, following a two-month battle against cancer.

The 43-year-old deputy’s community rallied around him and his wife of 19 years, Shelly, in the wake of his Oct. 15 cancer diagnosis, according to a group Facebook page.

They held fundraisers, set up a Christmas tree for the couple, provided meals, and offered countless photos and words of support.

“My strong, fearless husband departed to his heavenly home on Thursday,” Shelly wrote in a Facebook post on Dec. 5. “I did everything I could to love him, care for him and show him that he meant the world to me. His final worries were to take care of me, like he always did. Rest easy, Babe…”

Prior to his career in law enforcement, Deputy Budnik worked for various farming operations before he joined the Posen Area Fire and Rescue in 1995, according to his obituary.

He became a medical first responder in 1997, an emergency medical technician in 2002, and was ultimately promoted to the rank of lieutenant with the Posen Fire Department.

Deputy Budnik graduated from the Kirtland Community College Police Academy in 2009, and was hired by the PICSO.

During his decade-long law enforcement career, he served as a court officer, road deputy, corrections officer, 911 dispatcher and marine deputy, according to his obituary.

“There’s times where you don’t even realize it, and you’re making a difference,” Deputy Budnik told The Alpena News in May.

He was Presque Isle County’s fire investigator at the time of his death, according to his obituary.

In addition to his wife, Deputy Budnik also leaves behind his parents, sisters, in-laws, godfather, and many nieces and nephews.

He is also survived by his friends, cousins, aunts, uncles, and his dog, Champ.

Deputy Budnik was laid to rest on Saturday.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Presque Isle County Sheriff’s Office Deputy James “Jimbo” Budnik, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Holly Matkin - December Sun, 2019


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