JAMES FREDERICK DEROUIN
A little man with a big heart. In his high school class of 100 (50 being boys) eleven of them were named James. To lessen confusion they decided to call each other by their middle names. That is how Jim/Fred got to be known as Jim to some people while others only knew him as Fred.
Jim/Fred was the original owner of the Only Shoe Repair on North Broadway, known for its excellent workmanship and the tree out front with brightly painted shoes hanging from the branches. He took pride in his work and won several national shoe repair competitions.
He had many interests and hobbies such as wine making, bowling, wood turning, reading, deer hunting, fishing and playing cribbage and bridge. He loved to dance. He was an active volunteer for 33 years at the Dorothy Day House. He enjoyed serving on the Dorothy Day board and doing their repair work. He owned and lived at Genesis House for 13 years where he was an Adult Foster Care Provider for men with mental health issues.
Jim/Fred was very healthy throughout his 88 years. Three times he participated in a Charity Walk in 29 Palms, California. One time he won first place in his age group and the following year he was the winner of the entire race. In 2013 he rode his motorcycle to Sturgis, South Dakota. Jim/Fred rode his bicycle across Iowa as part of the RAGBRAI and he competed in Grumpy Old Men fishing and cribbage tournaments.
Jim/Fred was married first to Jeannette Wilson and later to Jo Wallman. He loved to travel and after retirement went to Peru, trekking the 25 mile trail to Macchu Picchu. He traveled to Beijing, China and walked the Great Wall, he saw the pyramids of Giza in Egypt and St. Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square in Russia. His travels were remarkable considering that when growing up, his family never went on a vacation because they didn’t own a car.
Jim/Fred died on May 6th of congestive heart failure with family members beside him. He was a husband, Father, Grand-father and Great Grand-father. He is survived by his wives, his six children: Cathy Riley (husband Joe Rice), Mike Derouin (Gail), Tony Derouin (Belinda), John DeRouin (Paula), Barbara Smith (husband, John), his wife Jo’s two children, 23 grandchildren and so many great grand-children that he stopped counting when the number exceeded twenty. His brother, Tom and sister, Jeanne, Grandson, Spencer and Great Grandtwins Sylas and Sybil preceded him in death,
Even in death Jim/Fred continues to give. His body has been donated to Mayo Clinic Research. Following current Covid regulations a small private family memorial service will be at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on Saturday, May 22nd at 11.00. An outdoor reception for friends and family will be from 1:00 to 4:00 at Cooke Park on 7th Street NW, in Rochester. In lieu of flowers the family would prefer donations to National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) or the Salvation Army - two organizations close to his heart. In that there is no Funeral Home assisting the family please feel free to share this information with anyone that does not receive the Post Bulletin.