BRAMPTON - James Edward Laughbaum, 52, passed away early Saturday morning, Dec. 8, 2012, at Marquette General Hospital where he had been hospitalized since suffering from a stroke at his home on Nov. 25.
Jim was the first child of Arthur H. and Helen (Sohlberg) Laughbaum. He was born on Aug. 6, 1960, in Escanaba, grew up in Gladstone, and for the past 12 years, resided in Brampton with his wife, Barbara (Heimerl) Laughbaum.
Jim, an Eagle Scout, graduated from Gladstone High School in 1978. He was an avid musician, playing trumpet in jazz, pep and marching bands and also serving as drum major at GHS. Jim attended Northern Michigan University for two years before transferring to the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, where he earned a bachelor degree in history.
A lover of nature and the outdoors, Jim returned to the U.P. after college, eventually building a home in the woods in Brampton. Jim possessed innumerable talents and interests including music, boating, kayaking, camping, landscaping, carpentry, traveling, cooking, baking and socializing. He was a huge U of M fan and sports enthusiast who enjoyed spending time at the Gladstone Yacht Club and for over 20 years faithfully served as church organist, beautifully playing organ and piano for countless church services, weddings, funerals and special events. Jim was the manager of Tunnel Vision in Escanaba, a division of the U.P. Rubber Company. He was the pioneer of sewer televising and repair in the Upper Peninsula, through his work as general manager of Tunnel Vision.
In addition to his wife, Barb, Jim is survived by his son, David Laughbaum, and daughter Chelsea Heimerl; two sisters, Margie (Chris) Sande of Beverly Hills, Mich., and Carol (David) Fisher of Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; seven nieces and nephews and many cousins and friends.
Jim was preceded in death by his father, Arthur, in 2002 and mother, Helen, in 2010.
Visitation for James Laughbaum will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 11, from 2 to 6 p.m. at the United Evangelical Church in Gladstone. Funeral services to celebrate the life of James Laughbaum will follow visiting hours, at 6 p.m. at the United Evangelical Church with Rev. Nathan Langager officiating and Jim's cousin, Rev. Ann Maleski, assisting. Luncheon will follow in the Church Fellowship Hall. Memorial contributions in Jim's name may be directed to the Covenant Church projection system. Envelopes will be available throughout visiting hours and at the Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone. Jim will be laid to rest in the Bark River Cemetery in the spring. The Skradski Family Funeral Homes of Delta County are assisting Jim's family with arrangements. For additional information or to leave the Laughbaum family a message of condolence, please visit www.skradskifuneralhomes.com/