Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
James C. Rodenberg, Lt. Colonel, USAF (Retired)June 7, 1936 – January 18, 2017
James Rodenberg was born in Halstead, Kansas on June 7, 1936, to parents, Fritz and Emma Rodenberg, and passed away on January 18, 2017, at 80 years of age.
In 1958, Jim graduated from Kansas University with a degree in Political Science and as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. During his twenty-three year career in the USAF as a helicopter rescue pilot, Jim served at six stateside bases and was deployed overseas to Turkey (two years), Viet Nam/Thailand (two years), Japan (three years), and Burma as the Air Attach? (two years). When he returned from Viet Nam, he was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses, a Bronze Star and fourteen Air Medals.
Upon retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Jim worked on Capitol Hill as a Special Assistant to Senator Paula Hawkins (five years) and then as a lobbyist for the Reserve Officers Association (eight years). He and his wife then established and operated the Belle Hearth B&B (nine years) in Waynesboro, Va. before retiring “for the third time”, as he would say, in Lynchburg, Va.
Jim will be remembered as a loving husband, caring father and grandfather, active civil servant, committed church leader, and a gracious and compassionate gentleman to all.
He is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Carolyn Rose Shomber; son, John and wife, Tamara; daughter, Wendy; five grandchildren, Jonna, Victoria, Heather, Christopher, and Matthew; sister, Louise Kerr and husband, Gene; and 11 nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Fritz and Emma; a sister, Edna; and two brothers, Edward and Fred.
A memorial service for Jim will be held on Saturday, January 28, 2017, at 11 a.m. at First Christian Church in Lynchburg, Va. A burial service with honors will be held at Arlington National Cemetery, Washington D.C. in the spring.
Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family. To send condolences please visit tharpfuneralhome.com.