John Roehm

Born: Wed., Dec. 18, 1940
Died: Fri., Aug. 14, 2020


2:00 PM to 5:00 PM, Tue., Aug. 18, 2020
Location: Frist Funeral Home

Funeral Service

5:00 PM Tue., Aug. 18, 2020
Location: Frist Funeral Home

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Surrounded by family, John Roehm passed away peacefully at his home in Clinton, Indiana on Friday, August 14, 2020. He was 79.

John was born December 18, 1940 at St. Anthony Hospital in Terre Haute, Indiana to Mary Katherine Fawley Roehm and Paul Thomas Roehm.  John grew up on South Sixth Street in Terre Haute alongside many cousins and friends whom he remained close with his entire life.   As a student, John was a Catholic Students’ Mission Crusade representative and a member of the Glee Club.   At the early age of 16, he became a budding pilot learning to fly at Paul Cox Field in Terre Haute in exchange for performing odd jobs around the airport. He was a 1958 graduate of Paul C. Schulte High School in Terre Haute, IN.    In 1971, he was married to Toni LaVerda. Together, they raised four children.

After serving four years in the Army National Guard and stints of employment at Oakley Drug Store and then Wadsworth Heating and Cooling, he struck up a friendship with Herman White of White Excavating (now known as White Construction) while giving him flight school training at Sky King Airport. Their special bond brought John to Clinton in 1964 and White Construction, where he worked for 50 years. As a vice president and chief estimator, he helped oversee White’s involvement in key infrastructure and industrial projects throughout the Wabash Valley over the years, including the construction of Clinton’s Eli Lilly plant, Newport’s Inland Container Plant, and numerous projects at the Newport Army Ammunition Plant. John’s success in life and business came from his knack for treating and dealing with people and the smile that seemed to always be on his face.   His relationships with friends, coworkers and close business associates were as important to him as family.    Throughout his life, he served with or belonged to various organizations such as the Civil Air Patrol, Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 157, Wabash Valley Archaeological Society, the Hillsdale Indiana Water Board, and the Friday the 13th “Last Man’s Club” organized by Sonny Carey. He was a lifetime member of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) as well as a member of EAA chapter 83 (Terre Haute), and a member of the Antique Aircraft Association (AAA) and its Indiana Chapter, where he served as Treasurer during the 1980s.

A man of many hobbies, John was a licensed pilot passionate about aviation who helped foster a local aviation community by contributing to the creation of the Clinton Airport.    John and Toni were ultimately part owner’s of Clinton Aviation, Inc which via the GI Bill provided flight training at the Clinton Airport to many local residents in the 1970s.   He also loved tinkering with model trains and restoring antique cars and planes, including a vintage Ford Model A and a 1941 Waco UPF-7 biplane. John took up beekeeping in retirement, maintaining 15 hives on his property and bottling his own honey. He also collaborated with the community’s 4-H organization, mentoring a number of children in the practice of beekeeping. On Friday mornings, he’d meet with his old coworkers from White and close friends to eat breakfast and talk shop. Dating back to his memorable trips with Herman to races at Daytona and Pocono among others, he remained a lifetime fan of the NASCAR and the IndyCar series.

John was passionate about nature throughout his life. In the early 2000s, he received a grant to help restore Indiana’s native prairie grasslands and wildflowers on his property, where he could often be found feeding the birds and hunting mushrooms.

He is survived by his wife, Toni Roehm; four children, John Paul (Sarah Roehm), Jeremy, Jason (Angie Roehm), and Jennifer (Randall Colburn); eight grandchildren, Sadie Jarrett, Josh, Ashlyn, Kadence, Addison, Frances, and Jackson; a sister, Anne (Larry DeCamp); a brother, Tom (Florence Roehm); and several nieces and a nephew.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions be made in John’s memory to Glioblastoma Foundation or the PS We Love You Fund to fight childhood cancers.   Contributions maybe arranged through the Funeral Home.

Visitation will be on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 from 2 to 5 pm at  Frist Funeral Home.  Funeral service will follow at 5 pm at the funeral home.

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