WARRENS -- James “Jim” C. Rochester, 91, of Warrens passed away Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, at the Serenity House in Tomah. He was born Aug. 1, 1929, to Archie and Gertrude (Goetzka) Rochester, in Warrens. He was fondly known as Jimmy to his mom and many relatives throughout his life.
Jimmy attended school in Warrens, but a lot of his education and skills were learned growing up on the family farm, working on a cranberry marsh and also helping a neighbor in his blacksmith shop. At age 16, Jim would travel with a crew to Milwaukee, to pick up used Model A cars and drive them back to Tomah. On several trips he met a young woman named Donna Bailey. They were married Aug. 13, 1955, in Milwaukee. Jim began working at a metal shop where his father-in-law was employed. In 1970, he changed careers and worked with the Milwaukee Public School District, as a recreation custodian, for 20 years. Jim and Donna retired in 1990 and moved to Warrens.
Nature and the great outdoors was where Jim enjoyed being. He loved taking his family camping throughout Wisconsin's State Parks and around the country. The whole family became very well-skilled when it came to packing up camping gear and supplies to go on the next family adventure together.
He is survived by his children, Cheryl (David) Klingenmeyer of Fort Myers, Fa., David (Maureen) Rochester of Milwaukee, and Cynthia (Michael) Barlow of Rockford, Minn.; six grandchildren, Justin, Jacob, Becky, Caleb, Dana, and Denyse; four great-grandchildren, Raegan, Blake, Taylor and Jack; his girlfriend, Connie Whitney; along with many other relatives and dear friends.
James was preceded in death by his wife, Donna, in November of 2005; his parents; and a brother, Rulland Rochester.
Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. today, Wednesday, Sept. 16, at St. Matthews Lutheran Church in Warrens. Pastor Kory Janneke will officiate. Family and friends are invited for visitation from 2 p.m. until the time of service Wednesday at the church. Burial will take place at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, in the Warren Mills Cemetery. Torkelson Funeral Home of Tomah, is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be offered at www.torkelsonfuneralhome.com.