CHATHAM, MI - James "Jim" Edward Rohrkemper, age 64, of M-94 Chatham, died peacefully in his sleep on Monday morning, November 26, 2012 at his home. He was born on October 20, 1948 in Hamilton, Ohio to the late Ralph and Catherine (Connolly) Rohrkemper. Jim moved to California as a young boy and graduated from Corcoran High School. He joined the U.S. Navy and served twenty-one years, five months, and seven days before retiring as a 1st Class Petty Officer Nuclear Weapons Technician. During his service, Jim had been based in Clarksville, TN, the Naval Air Facility Sigonella in Sicily, Italy, Naval Air Stations in Norfolk, VA and San Diego, CA, Okinawa, and Naval Magazine Lualualei, HI. He served on the USS Oriskany during Vietnam and the USS Carl Vinson. One of his tours took eight months and went around the world from Norfolk to Alameda. After retirement, Jim earned an Associate's Degree in Environmental Control Technology from College of the Sequoias in Visalia, CA and then a Bachelor of Arts Degree from California State University. He taught school in California and also served on the California Grand Jury. Jim moved to Michigan and worked for JW Woodcrafters in Chatham. He was a member of the American Legion and V.F.W. Ikkala Brothers Post where he served as Adjutant. Jim enjoyed sightseeing and travelling to places, he saw a green flash, watched a volcano erupt on Mt. Etna, and he enjoyed good food and beautiful scenery.
Jim is survived by his brother Michael (Gerry) Rohrkemper of El Segundo, CA; sister Anne (Bill) Turnbull of Bellingham, WA; sister-in-law Beth Rohrkemper, nieces Sarah Axup and Logan Rohrkemper; nephew Kevin Turnbull; two great-nephews Connor and Kazuma; and his good friend and business partner, Jan Wesselius. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother Anthony Rohrkemper.
Military honors will be conducted at the Pine Grove Cemetery in Chatham in 2013. Jim's obituary and guestbook may be viewed and signed at www.bowermanfuneralhome.net
James “Jim” Edward Rohrkemper