James Roumonada: Longtime Boeing engineer was active with Holy Rosary Church

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James W. Roumonada

A wonderful example of one of the best of the world’s “Greatest Generation”, a husband, father, great and great grandfather and friend in service to so many, James William Roumonada passed away quietly on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at his residence at Sunrise of Edmonds, an assisted living facility where he and his wife, Bobbie, spent their final days.

Jim was born in a small hospital in Syracuse, New York on October 15, 1925 and spent most of his high school youth in a small town in upstate New York known as Tupper Lake. An only child, his parents were Elizabeth (Stickney) Roumonada and William Roumonada. After graduating from Tupper Lake High School in June 1943, Jim enlisted in the United States Navy. The Navy found that Jim’s math and mechanical skills could be put to good use, and his training led to him serving aboard the quickly repaired USS Bunker Hill beginning in August 1945. The Bunker Hill served was assigned to what was known as the “Magic Carpet” ships used at the end of World War II to bring many military personnel back to the West Coast who spent time in the Pacific theater.

After returning home and spending time studying to become an aeronautical engineer at the Aeronautical University of Chicago, he eventually married his first wife Joyce in 1949 and started a family that was quickly cut short by the Korean conflict. This brought Jim back to service in 1951, assigned to an Essex-class aircraft carrier USS Antietam as chief petty officer first class, in charge of a team of servicemen who maintained the safety and operational health of their aircraft.

Shortly after completing his Navy enlistment, Jim and his family moved to Seattle in December 1952 and began what would amount to a very active and successful 38-year career with the Boeing Company. He first participated in the B-52 program. As the “jet age” developed, his interest shifted to Boeing’s development of commercial aircraft, starting with the Boeing 707. Although Jim was a very humble guy when things additional information about him appeared, he revealed that he was part of a very small team of engineers. who were instrumental in overhauling what was initially unnerving turbulence experienced by pilots flying the original “Dash-80” aircraft, the developing predecessor to the original 707 fleet. was first a design engineer, then a quality control engineer, supervising and managing the teams involved in the 727, 737, 747 airliners and, finally, the 767 airliner, dealing with American contractors, Canadian and Japanese officials built, to Boeing’s tight specifications, several key structural elements of each aircraft.

As is common, life’s changes and challenges caused Jim to separate from his first wife. However, through good friends in Spokane, Jim was eventually introduced to Bobbie Butler, a widow and mother of 8, whose husband Frank died suddenly in 1971. After spending some quality time together, Jim and Bobbie moved on. married in September 1976. Their marriage was a personal and spiritual fulfillment for both of them as it began a continuous life involving an extended family. This soon led to them moving to Edmonds, Washington after all the kids graduated from high school, which also kicked off a new set of expanded activities and adventures. This involved extensive travel in tow and 5th wheel after Jim retired from Boeing in 1989, with Jim and Bobbie becoming “road warriors”, visiting friends and family across America . Most importantly, Jim and Bobbie shared much of their time serving their church community in a very uplifting and loving way, appreciated by many as committed to their Roman Catholic faith at Holy Rosary Catholic Church.

But, as is often the case with many as we grow older, Jim eventually ran into difficult health issues and other issues plagued Bobbie as well. Eventually Jim lost Bobbie in April 2022 and thankfully his suffering was brief. Ultimately, after almost 46 years of marriage to Bobbie, health issues and simply being without his beloved wife, Bobbie, took their toll.

Jim is survived by his children Dave Roumonada and his wife Theresa, and Phil Roumonada and his wife Kathy. A third son, Paul Roumonada, died in 2011. Jim is also survived by the children of Bobbie William Butler and his wife Claudia, Mary Butler, John Butler and his wife Courtney, Hank Butler and his wife Betsy, Amber Butler, the wife of late son Brian Butler, Ann Owens and her husband Ed, Paul Butler and her partner Debbie and Amy Stapleton and her husband, Dan as well as several grand and great-grandchildren.

Jim will be missed by all of us and we are all so grateful that his nearly 97 years of life touched so many in so many uplifting and educational ways. He was a guy who always strived to “do the right thing” and made sure it worked for the benefit of everyone involved.

God bless you, Jim, and rest in peace as you await opportunities to glorify God in heaven.

A viewing and rosary service will be held at Beck’s Funeral Home in Edmonds, Washington on Wednesday, June 29, from 5-7 p.m.; with a funeral Mass to be held Thursday, June 30 at 10 a.m. at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 630 7th Avenue North, Edmonds, WA. Please leave memories at www.becktributecenter.com. At Jim’s request, please leave any financial tribute to St. Vincent De Paul or any other charity of your choice.

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