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Woodlawn Funeral Home Obituaries

James Roland Bartlett , Age: 88
July 18, 1934 - April 27, 2023

James Roland Bartlett passed away on April 27 th , 2023, at the stubborn old age of 88, in his home
surrounded by the family he cherished above all but God.
James was born on July 18 th , 1934, to his parents Franklin and Audree Bartlett in the town of
Chamberlain, SD. The fourth of five children, James was as adventurous as he was sharp – a trend he
would carry throughout the rest of his life. A proud South Dakotan, he graduated from Chamberlain High
School in 1952 and then, later, South Dakota State University in 1957 with a bachelor’s degree in
printing management. Thereafter, the adventure set in. James enlisted in the United States Army in May 1957 to serve his
country. He would get up to all sorts of mischief and achieve tremendous success along the way –
climbing his way up from private to 2 nd Chief Warrant Officer. James even managed to find time to earn
a second degree from Baylor University as a physician’s assistant.
James particularly adored his time stationed in Germany. For it was there that he met his beloved wife
and best friend, Barbara Ochs. The two married in September of 1959, and they would remain (mostly)
happily wed until her passing 54 years later. They had five children, by whom he is survived: Margaret
Bartlett, Frank Bartlett (Kim Moistner-Bartlett), Ursula Bartlett, Barbara Brock (Michael Brock), and Mary
Ruthrauff. He loved them dearly, much as he did his grandchildren: Sebastian Brock, Katherine Gordon
(Brandon Gordon), Nicholas Bartlett, Carson Bartlett, and Christopher Ruthrauff.
After 22 years, James retired from the military. He, of course, retired in name only, and went on to work
as a physician’s assistant for another two decades for the Weirton Steel Dispensary and the Madigan
Army Hospital ER (albeit as a civilian). When he truly retired, James embraced the oddities of his wit.
James was a gardening savant, as anyone who ever bore witness to the lush jungle that was his backyard
could attest. He put the term “green thumb” to shame. His bookshelves were stuffed to the brim with
plant encyclopedias, and his ramshackle greenhouse resembled a botanist’s idle fantasy. James seldom
dabbled in half-measures. Whether it be traveling around the country to visit family, piecing together
puzzles, engaging in a good chess match, or picking out a hat to wear (from among his many, many
hats), you could count on James to give it his all and do so with a hearty laugh and a pithy anecdote.
Further, James was a devout Catholic and a longtime member of Sacred Heart Church in Lacey, WA. He
cherished his relationship with the Lord and lived by His gospel. And as such, he was a true
humanitarian. Caring about one’s neighbors, about one’s community, about one’s fellow man was his
credo. And care he did. James always went out of his way to help others, whether it be donating his
(admittedly delicious) home-grown produce to a local food pantry, giving money to those in need, or
visiting the elderly in the nursing home and leading them to pray the rosary. His presence will be greatly
In addition to his children, James is survived by his sisters Ruth Tobin and Mary Graves as well as nieces,
nephews, great nieces and great nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Walter
and John Bartlett and his nephew David Bartlett.
The Funeral Mass will be held on Monday May 8 th at 10:30am at Sacred Heart Church with the reception
in the church hall immediately following the mass. The graveside service will be held at Woodlawn
Cemetery at 1:30pm. In memory of James, please enjoy your gardens and make your community a
better place.

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