James R. Rehmke, 79, passed away in Okanogan on April 6, 2015 with his loving wife Luella by his side. He was born in Mason City, Wash. on March 22, 1936 to Harry O. and Marie E. Rehmke where he joined a sister Rosemary.
Jim was raised in and around Siwash Creek area near Tonasket, Wash. He spent many hours working with his parents on the Rehmke Family Ranch. Jim grew up working hard and independently learning good morals and work ethics from his parents.
Jim attended school in Tonasket and graduated in 1954. In the year 1956, Jim’s mother, a Tonasket FOE Auxiliary #3002 member, sponsored Jim to become a member of the Eagles where he remained a member for 59 years. After graduation Jim attended the College of Marin in California earning a diploma in Business.
In 1958 he enlisted in the U.S. Army where he served as a Single Engine Aircraft Mechanic and was SP4. He earned a Certificate in Aircraft Engine Repair. During Jim’s stint in the U.S. Army his service was extended by nine months due to the construction of the Berlin Wall. In 1964 Jim was Honorably Discharged. He returned home to Tonasket after his stint in the military.
In 1965 Jim met and married Rita Dagnon. From that union, a son Michael was born.
Jim worked for Hamilton Farm Equipment for approximately 17 years. In 1985 he opened his own business under the name of Rehmke’s Repair. Jim shared shop space with Elmer Rappe and Wayne McCorkle; it was known as The Machinery Clinic. Later years his son Mike joined him in the shop as a business owner. Hours were spent repairing farm and orchard equipment. If Jim couldn’t find a new part, he would remake the old one. (A very talented man). Jim enjoyed building things out of wood, metal, etc., you name it; he would accomplish with the end result of excellence.
Jim married his loving wife Luella on May 12, 1990. They spent the following 25 years being happily together in Okanogan watching their children and grandchildren grow. Many fond memories of holidays, hunting Easter eggs, opening presents and barbequing on that old charcoal grill Jim loved, were made.
Survivors include his loving wife Luella, son Michael (Sue) Rehmke of Okanogan, Wash.; daughter Shirley Creech of Columbia Falls, Mont.; daughter Nicolette Miller of Enumclaw, Wash. and son John (Kris) Bader, Sr. of Omak Wash. Jim was blessed with 11 grandchildren, five great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Jim was a true gentleman. Honest, reliable and always there for his family. He was loved deeply by all and will be greatly missed. Jim was preceded in death by his parents Harry and Marie, his sister Rosemary and grandson Quinton.
Services with be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at Jim’s family home at 10 Penley Rd., Okanogan, Wash. Please bring a potluck dish for dinner following the service. The Neptune Society was in charge
of the cremation arrangements.
Donations can be made To the Memory of Jim Rehmke to the Malott Fire Department, P.O. Box 43, Malott, WA 98829 or a charity of your choice.