James Paul Ohlman |1938-2020


James Paul Ohlman, 81, formerly of Bluebell Springs, Orcas Island, Washington, died Feb. 24 at 3:05 a.m. in Coeur d’Alene Idaho.

Jim was born Nov. 13, 1938, and he and his family lived in the Grand Rapids area of Michigan. He attended Bob Jones and Western Michigan Universities, graduating with a BBA from WMU in 1960. After graduation, Jim joined the U.S. Navy and was commissioned to serve his country as a navigator aboard P2V Neptune surveillance planes. His VP-5 squadron, the “Mad Foxes,” were Russian submarine hunters at the height of the Cold War. The squadron was one of the first called up for the Cuban Quarantine during the Cuban Missile Crisis. VP-5 staged patrols from Jacksonville, Florida; Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico; and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It was the first squadron to spot and photograph the Soviet ship, “Bucharest,” carrying missiles, and later the first to locate and track the first Soviet ship departing Cuba with dismantled missiles aboard.

Jim married his wife Beverly, a Navy widow, in 1964, and adopted her son, Vaughn, at the same time. He then transferred to the Naval Reserve and moved to the Detroit area, where he began work in the mortgage and development business. This work took him to Denver, Colorado; San Francisco, California; Honolulu, Hawaii; and then eventually to Orcas Island, Washington. He was especially proud of the development of Hawaii Loa Ridge near Honolulu, and the Twin Lakes/Bluebell Springs properties on Orcas Island.

Jim and Bev retired to Orcas Island, where they kept themselves busy with friends, community projects and attended Orcas Island Community Church.

Jim is survived by his wife of 55 years, Beverly; his son Daniel(Stacey); Dan’s two daughters, Shawna and Shelby; his adopted son Vaughn(Mary); Vaughn’s six children: Joshua(Laura), Anne(Caleb) Cook, Timothy(Tabitha), Elizabeth(Geoff) Scott, and Lydia(Jeremy) Scott; Jim’s 14 great-grandchildren; his brother Dean (Marge); his widowed sister-in-law Shirley; as well as his nephews and nieces.

Jim was predeceased by his father, Henry; his mother, Grace; his older brother, Richard; and his adopted sister, Ruth.

Jim’s Christian faith was very important to him. He put it into practice in many ways, especially being active in his church wherever he lived. He was a generous supporter of many ministries and missionaries. A memorial service will be held in Texas to celebrate his life and faith; please contact the family for details.