Flint Mourns Former Mayor James A. Sharp Jr. 1933-2023

by | Aug 1, 2023 | August 2023, In Memoriam

The City of Flint  lowered flags to half-staff to mourn the loss of former Flint Mayor James A. Sharp Jr. who passed away July 2 in Arizona at the age of 90.

Funeral services were held at the Quinn Chapel AME Church followed by a Celebration of Life service. Interment will take place with honors at  Arlington National Cemetery.

Former Mayor Sharp was Flint’s first popularly elected African American mayor under the “strong mayor” form of government established by the 1974 Flint City Charter.

He served as mayor from 1983-1987.

Sharp was a former Marine and also served as Chief of Staff for then-Michigan State Representative Don Riegle.

“It’s important to uplift the heroes of our community, especially those trailblazers who paved the way for future leaders,” Mayor Sheldon Neeley said. “Former Mayor Sharp was a true community champion in many ways, both as a mayor of the City of Flint and also as one of the lead role models in the African American community during his tenure. His impact as mayor is still felt today.  As a young man, I remember then-Mayor Sharp supporting a group of college students I was a part of, organizing anti-drug rallies in the community. I ask our community to join me in lifting his family in prayer.”

Mayor Sharp is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Tessie Baltrip Sharp of Avondale, Arizona. James was preceded in death by two sons, Owen Quentin Sharpe of Flint, Michigan, and James Alfred Sharp, III of Royal Oak, Michigan. He leaves behind two daughters, Dolly Sharpe-Barney (David Barney) of Oak Park, Michigan and LaTanya “Tangie” Sharp of Phoenix, AZ. He is also survived by eight grandchildren, twenty-four great-grandchildren, and four great-great grandchildren, many of whom were honored to join James in celebration of his 90th birthday.

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