Jessica Mathews /

Funeral services are set Friday for a beloved community leader, veteran, and philanthropist.

Longtime Genoa Township Trustee Jim Mortensen passed away Wednesday at the age of 89.

A release states his “legacy is marked by decades of unwavering commitment to community welfare and public service”.

Before the Mackinac Bridge was constructed, Mortensen took the ferry from northern Michigan to attend Michigan State University. He served in the U.S. Army and Air National Guard, followed by an extensive career at Ford Motor Company.

After concluding his 32-year tenure at Ford, leveraging his extensive finance background, Mortensen dedicated himself to serving the local community. He volunteered with the Livingston County United Way and ventured into politics – securing five consecutive four-year terms as a Genoa Township Trustee and contributing his expertise to the Township Planning Commission for 23 years. He served on the Brighton Area Fire Authority Board for 22 years.

Mortensen’s “unwavering dedication” to Livingston County's non-profits earned him the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the United Way in 2005.

Mortensen ran for the Livingston County Board of Commissioners at age 88 - amidst a two-month hospitalization during his campaign. The release states “Despite his determination, prolonged illness led him to resign from the Genoa Board of Trustees in September 2023. He believed his inability to attend meetings was a disservice to the citizens he aimed to represent”.

One of the honors of his life was said to be his service with the Fire Authority board. Mortensen believed that “firefighters embody courage, sacrifice, and selflessness as they put themselves on the front lines, facing danger to protect lives and property. In recognition of his service and commitment, a proclamation in his honor was made by the BAFA in May 2022”.

Funeral services will take place tomorrow.

A visitation will be held Friday from 11am to noon at the Lynch and Sons Funeral Home, with the funeral service at noon. A reception will immediately follow at Lakelands Country Club. A private burial with full military honors will occur at Chilson Cemetery at 3:30pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to the Livingston County United Way or the Brighton Area Fire Authority in Mortensen's honor.

The press release and a resolution adopted earlier by the Genoa Township Board recognizing Mortensen's years of service are attached.