James Lee "Jim" Rexroat (1933 - 2017)

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  • "Mom, Jena, and I all send our love. Jim was one of Dad's..."
    - Krista Scott
  • "My wife, Sandy, and I were good friends with Jim and Irene..."
    - bob lynes
  • "I taught along side your wonderful Dad for 24 years at..."
    - Louise Haas
  • "I am so sorry for the Families loss of a great man, mentor..."
    - AnneMarie Fendler-Horsley
  • "I'm sad to hear of your dad's passing. I will miss your mom..."
    - Emily (Jones) Dryke
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James Lee "Jim" Rexroat, born April 15, 1933, in Portland, Oregon, to Delbert and Helen (Vacik) Rexroat, passed away on October 16, 2017, at his son Robin's residence in Sammamish, Washington. Jim was 84.

Jim was raised in Bozeman, Montana. After graduating from high school and enrolling at Montana State University, he enlisted in the Navy. His active duty took him into the Korean conflict as well as being stationed in Port Townsend.

While on furlough in Butte Montana, most significantly, he met the love of his life, Irene Hitchens. Jim always said he courted the "prettiest girl west of the Rockies" and was thrilled to win her heart.

Marriage followed, and after serving his military obligation, the couple and new son returned from Port Townsend to Bozeman, where Jim worked with his father in the tile trade until he was 24.

He then re-entered Montana State University and earned a teaching degree in English. At 28, Jim took a job with the Port Angeles School District and moved to Washington with Irene and their two young sons. Shortly after relocating, a third son was added to the family.

During his 30-year teaching career at Port Angeles High School, Jim was able to supplement his income by using his tile-setting skills. His work as a craftsman will long endure in homes and businesses throughout the Northwest and Montana as a testament to his creativity and commitment to doing things "the right way."

In his downtime, over a period of seven years, Jim attended Eastern Washington University, Western Washington University and Central Washington University, where he earned his master's degree in reading and was pleased to develop remedial and advanced reading classes in the high school.

In addition to his classroom work, Jim served as senior class adviser, basketball head score keeper and track and field meet director.

Jim's devotion to his soulmate, Irene, was exemplified over the last 12 years as he affectionately cared for her during her struggle with Parkinson's.

Jim loved his family, good friends, Montana, setting tile, reading, fishing, upland bird hunting and enjoying time with his immediate and extended family.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents and wife, and is survived by his sons, Lance, Robin and Craig, and four grandchildren.

Many thanks go out to the friends, co-workers and neighbors who shared in Jim's adventures and who brought support and interest to his life. Jim was an illustrious storyteller and thoroughly treasured his relationships with those he kept close over the years: Russ, Ed, the whole breakfast bunch and many, many more.

He had a full life and was a true Renaissance man, dedicated father and committed teacher. He will forever live on in the genuine interactions he brought to all those he touched in his exceptional journey.

At Jim's request, no funeral or memorial services are planned.

The remaining family would ask that you honor his memory by supporting your local school district and the trades in the Port Angeles community.

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,

Healthy, free, the world before me,

The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,

Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,

Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,

Strong and content I travel the open road. ...

Lift me close to your face till I whisper,

What you are holding is in reality no book, nor part of a book;

It is a man, flushed and full-blooded - it is I - So long!

We must separate awhile - Here! Take from my lips this kiss;

Whoever you are, I give it especially to you;

So long! - And I hope we shall meet again.

- From the poetry of Walt Whitman
Published in The Peninsula Daily News on Nov. 26, 2017
bullet Korean War bullet U.S. Navy
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