Obituary for James Donald "Jim" Blemel
JAMES D. BLEMEL 89, of Sutherlin, Oregon joined the staff of the Supreme Commandant on July 29, 2017. He was born July 1, 1928 in Buffalo, New York. James lived in an orphanage until adopted by Joseph Blemel and Florence Blemel in 1937. He served in the US Marine Corps as a computer analyst/programmer from 1944 until his retirement in 1966. James served aboard three ships mainly the USS Albany, USS Wooster and USS Wisconsin. He enjoyed going to the pot lucks on Sunday’s at St. Francis, watching various sporting events on tv and going to the casinos and race tracks. James was preceded in death by his wife of 29 years, Emily (Pidgen) Blemel and his parents. Survivors include his daughter Frances Schwald (Max) of Sutherlin; granddaughter Brenda Schwald of Lake Stevens, Washington; brother Ronald Blemel of Orchard Park, New York and various nieces and nephews. A heartfelt thank you goes out to Amedisys for their care and compassion, to the wonderful people at the VA for their help and also the Alter Society of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church for their support. A graveside service with Military Honors will be held Friday, August 25, 2017 at 11:00 am at Roseburg National Cemetery. A Celebration of Life will take place on Sunday, September 10, 2017 after the 10:30 am Mass in conjunction with the monthly potluck. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to St. Francis Altar Society c/o Karen Mencarelli at 431 W First Ave, Sutherlin, Oregon 97479.
Please visit www.wilsonschapeloftherosesfh.com to leave the family fond memories and condolences. Wilson’s Chapel of the Roses is in charge of arrangements.
U S Marine Corps
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Life Story for James Donald "Jim" Blemel
James was born July 1, 1928 and placed in the Catholic Charities Orphanage in Buffalo, NY. He was adopted in 1937 by Joseph and Florence Blemel of Buffalo, NY.
He resided with his adoptive parents, going to Catholic Schools and receiving all the sacraments. James enlisted in the Marines in 1944. He was one very lucky Marine, serving during 3 wars and never seeing combat, namely WWII, Korea and Vietnam. His primary job in the Marines was computer analyst/programmer. He enjoyed going to the rifle range and received numerous awards for Marksmanship and Sharpshooter. James had various assignments while in the Corps. The most memorable was security detail at the Capital Rotunda for the “Lying in State” of President John F. Kennedy. He was also assigned security detail at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
In 1953 he met and married Emily Pridgen of Wilmington, NC. Emily had 1 child and Jim adopted her in 1954.
James retired from the Marines in 1966 and went to live in Atlanta, GA and Ft. Lauderdale, FL. He held various jobs including cashiering in Ft. Lauderdale race tracks and warehousing. Jim will long be remembered for his “crusty” military humor and his pride of being a United States Marine.