CALUMET - James B. Roth, 83, a resident of Calumet, passed away April 14, 2014 at the DJ Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette.
Jimmy was born on January 18, 1931 in Hancock, a son of John & Marie (Bach) Roth. He attended local schools and at the age of 11, went to work to help support his family. He worked as a "bowling pin setter" as well as doing various other jobs.
He was a veteran, having served with the U.S. Navy, sailing the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea and having the opportunity to visit ports-of-call in southern Europe and Africa. He was very proud of his time in the service and always regaled stories of his Navy days.
Upon his return he worked as a miner for Calumet and Hecla, during which time he survived an airblast that nearly took his life. He continued to mine until he and Verna moved to Chicago in 1955 and where he then worked for Central Steel.
On June 30, 1956, Jimmy married the love of his life, Verna Rajaniemi, in Hancock.
In 1961, the couple moved back to the Copper Country and Jim resumed working in the copper mines until 1966. Jim then had many different careers - he worked for his uncle, Ed Crowley, at the Crowley Funeral Home, assisting Ed with transportation; he learned the upholstery trade, working at Hancock Upholstery; he worked as a delivery man at Columbia Laundry and where he was known as the "Diaper Man"; and at Jim's Food Mart in Houghton as the evening manager. Recently he served on the board of the Community Action.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Verna, on January 16, 2014; his parents; his sisters, Patsy and Marie; and brothers, Jack, Robert and Clarence.
Jimmy was well known for his joke telling. In addition, he loved to play practical jokes and pull pranks on people! He also enjoyed playing pinochle, cutting wood, watching the Tigers, Red Wings and the Lions, fishing, and plowing snow (minus the few plow mishaps).
He was a member of Sacred Heart Church and served as an usher there.
He will be sadly missed by daughter, Sandra (Jeffrey) Lewin of Calumet and grandchildren, Jennifer Ellis and Alayna (Ryan) Ellis Couch; daughter, Debbie (Rod) Tarvinen of Lake Linden and grandchildren, Jeffrey (Stephanie) Laitila and Mandy Laitila; daughter, Lisa (Vinny) LaCombe of Marquette and granddaughter, Hailey; son, Ronald Roth of Midland and grandchildren, Noah and Emma; great-grandchildren, Izabella and Mason Couch, Collin and Owen Laitila and Phoenix Nordmark; brothers, George (Lois) Roth of Ypsilanti, Mich., and Tom Roth of Iron River, Mich.
A Memorial Mass will be held for Jim on Monday April 21, 2014 at 6 p.m. in the Sacred Heart Church in Calumet. Fr. Abraham Mupparathara and Deacon Art will officiate.
Friends may call at the Church on Monday from 4 to 6 p.m.
The Erickson-Crowley-Peterson Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Online condolences may be left at ericksoncrowleypeterson.com.
The family would like to thank the staff at the Portage Health Dialysis unit for their compassionate care of Jim for the last three years. We also thank the staff at the Jacobetti Home during his brief stay there.
In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, memorials may be directed to the DJ Jacobetti Home for Veterans, c/o The Activity Fund, 425 Fisher St., Marquette, MI 49855 or the Portage Health Dialysis Unit, Attn: Karen Kelley, 500 Campus Dr, Hancock, MI 49930.