James Edward Laughbaum, age 52, passed away early Saturday morning, December 8, 2012, at Marquette General Hospital where he had been hospitalized since suffering from a stroke at his home on November 25th.
Jim was the first child of Arthur H. and Helen (Sohlberg) Laughbaum. He was born on August 6, 1960, in Escanaba, grew up in Gladstone, and for the past twelve 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 twenty 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, MI and Carol (David) Fisher of Bloomfield Hills, MI; 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, December 11, 2012, from 2:00PM to 6:00PM, at the United Evangelical Church in Gladstone. Funeral services to celebrate the life of James Laughbaum will follow visiting hours, at 6:00PM, at the United Evangelical Church, with Rev. Nathan Langager officiating and Jim
Scott (NozzTeq Inc) - Clearwater, FL
We send our blessings to Jim and his family. We were stunned to learn of Jim’s passing. UP has been long time customer of ours and always was pleasure to work with Jim. Our hearts go out to all those whom were close to Jim. Our Sincere sympathies from everyone at NozzTeq Inc.
Chris & Terry Denessen
Barb and family – our thoughts are prayers are with you through this difficult time. Keep your memories strong and may God help you through this trying time.
Chris & Terry Denessen
Barb, David, Carol, Margie & Chelsea,
You are in my thoughts and prayers. Skimmer was truly one of a kind. He will be missed by all of us. While we do not know HIS plans, as Pam said, there is beautiful organ music playing in the heavens today.
Barb and family,
What an incredible loss. Skimmer was so talented in so many ways – I will miss him tickling the ivories this holiday season. Such great joy his gifts brought to everyone. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Brian Peterson - Valley Village, CA
As a young boy starting out in Boy Scouts, Jim was a wonderful friend, mentor and role model on how to be a better human being. I will always remember his tutelage, patience and sense of humor during those wonderful days of my youth. To those who loved him I offer my deep and sincere condolences.
Laughbaum clan —
Words can’t express my sympathy and disbelief at Skimmer’s passing. It seems like yesterday we were sneaking into Jim’s (before he was Skimmer) room to look at his “Boy’s Life” magazines. I have so many fun and funny memories that include him, from when we were children, adolescents, and as adults. His presence will be missed dearly,
Erich’s and my thoughts and prayers are with you all.
David & Evelyn Olson - Harbor Spring, MI
So sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim’s family.
Terry & Karen Dahl - Gladstone, MI
Deepest Sympathy to the Laughbaum family. Jim will be missed.
Tracy Crowe - Centerville, IN
Barb and family: Words can’t say how very sorry I am for your loss.
David and Lisa Blondeau - Marquette, MI
Our deepest sympathies to you, Barb and your family. Jim was a great guy and will be remembered.
Barb and FamilyIt is with sincere sympathy that I send you this message. Keep your heart and head filled with all of the happy memories and know that there are many who are thinking and praying for all of you.
Gary A. Morley - Dayton, Oh
My deepest sympathy to Jim’s family. I was in Boy Scout Troop 466 with Jim. I went on numerous camp outs and other scouting activities with Jim. One year Jim joined us for a 60-mile canoe trip in Northern Minnesota. Jim got the award for best water splasher with his canoe paddle. He was always fun to be around.
My deepest condolences to the Laughbaum family. I am so sorry for your loss. I will always remember Jim’s smile and energy – so full of life. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Polka Check, Skimmer! Miss you, my friend.
Dr. Carl and Marilyn Olson - Clearwater, Fl
We were saddened to read or your great loss. I played the organ at the Covenant church for many years and I was glad when Jim took over that job when we moved to Florida. He played beautifully and we always enjoyed his music when we visited the church. We pray that God will give you comfort during these trying days. I am sure Heaven is full of his beautiful music now.
Robert & Cathy Blalock
Barb and family,Our condolences on the loss of Jim. You are in our prayers.
Please accept my deepest and most sincere condolences on your tremendous loss of Jim. I have so many wonderful memories of Skimmer, that I will cherish forever! He truly was a unique person, with so many talents and outstanding qualities. Especially that sense of humor! RIP Skimmer, and I hope Barb was there to greet you when you arrived.
Kristin (Parrett) Brace
Tom and Jessie Seronko - Gladstone, MI
My sympathy to all of Jim’s family, he was a great guy, and very talented, and will be missed! Our prayers go out to all of you!
Kathy Martin - Gladstone, Mi
Barb, Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time. I am unable to attend Jim’s services. Everything is just to raw yet. Please know that we are thinking of you. Love Kathy and Gary
Mike, Sherri & Josh Parrett
Jim laughbaum Family, we would like to express how sorry we are for your loss. Jim was such a wonderful friend to our Mother Barb. You are all in our Thoughts & Prayers. God Bless!
Dorothy J. Kollmann - Escanaba, MI
Dear family, I was surprised and saddened to hear of Jim’s passing. I became acquainted with Jim at the Gladstone Yacht Club. At first I was touched by his care of his mother and then completely overwhelmed by his caring and assistance with our CHAT group each July at the Yacht Club. Our group will miss him. On behalf of the Community Handicap Awareness Team, I send our prayers and sympathy.
Jamie, Chad, and trey - Rapid River, Mi
Grandma B was an amazingly strong and beautiful person. She will be missed.
Judy Ebbesen - Sun City, AZ
My condolences to the Branstrom family on the loss of their mother and grandmother. I did not know Bea personally but I worked with her granddaughter Lacey and taught Brett and Hunter. She was a great supporter of the Mid Peninsula community.
Anonymous - NONE, 0
I am so very sorry to hear about Bea, she was a great inspiration to us all about how to be strong, caring and loving, but most of all about how to have a very strong family code. May she rest in peace. You will all be in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless.
Jeff - NONE, 0
Sorry to hear of your familys’ lost. Bea was almost exactly 8 mos. older than my Dad. I’m sure she’ll be missed alot, especially with the Holiday season upon us.
Gary and Liz Lauscher - West Palm Beach, FL
Our thoughts, prayers and condolences are with all the Branstrom families.
Dale Schneider - Perkins, Mi
I offer my sympathy to the family and friends of Bea Branstrom. Bea and Bud welcomed me into their home many years ago. They made me feel that I was one of their family. I can’t say enough about their kindness and generosity. The community of Perkins will miss Bea; when she had the store she became a fixture and great asset to many people. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Darlene Jensen - Escanaba, MI
My prayers go out to all of you. Bea was such a big part of the Perkins community in every way. Praying for you all to be comforted in knowing that she is at peace and celebrating Christmas with Jesus first hand. God bless!
Mark Wilcox - Houghton, mi
Mark, Steve and Jane. My thoughts and prayers go out to you. Your mom was one of a kind and will be missed. By touching the lives of so many, her influence and love will shine for generations.
Peg gobert - NONE, 0
Bea was such a caring person, we had a disabled neighbor, and bea always made sure he was taken care of, providing meals, checking up on him, making sure we were being a good neighbor to him!! Anytime someone was in need she was the first to take action to do something about it. The Perkins store will always be “Beas” to us. The love she had for her family was a beautiful thing. When I was told she was buried in her wedding dress, I cried. Sleep in heavenly peace, Bea.
Bobbie Hamby (Bregger) - Sutton, AK
So sorry for your loss! I have fond memories of Bea working at the store and her no nonsense way of dealing with us teens. She really loved her community. Was saddened to see this in the paper! Condolences all the way from Alaska!
To Bea’s family, Please accept our sympathy. Bea was friends with our grandparents. We have fond memories of talking with Bea at the store and around town. I especially remember visiting with Bea when she would stop next door at Ellen’s house while I was there. We shared a lot of laughs. She was a very lively person and interested in everyone. Mark and Lisa (Peterson) Pugh
Lillian Day and family - Brampton, MI
To the entire Branstrom family, our condolences are with you. Bea was a remarkable woman and friend to all of us. She always showed a big heart toward us.