John Rohde

Nov 08, 2018

John E. Rohde, 76, of Belfast, passed away Nov. 4, 2018, following a period of declining health.

He was born on Aug. 28, 1942, in N. Tonawanda, N.Y., the son of Werner and Charlotte (Decrow) Rohde. He was educated in Belfast and graduated from Crosby High School, class of 1960. His entire youth was spent in Belfast and at the age of 7 John was credited with saving the life of his sister Marta from the frigid waters of Penobscot Bay at Bayside. He was thrilled to receive a personal letter from then-Governor Frederick G. Payne, which he treasured all his life, along with the act itself. Additionally, their story was depicted in Heroic Comics, a popular publication of the time. Also, he was a member of the Belfast Little League Yankees, under Coach Guy Webber, for the first three years of starting up in Belfast. Throughout high school, John enjoyed drama, sports and along with a few of his pals, was known to instigate practical jokes.

Following graduation, he entered the U.S. Army and after rigorous training, for a period of nearly three years, was stationed at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, as a military policeman. During this time, he was sent to the tiny atoll known as Johnston Island where he witnessed five successful high-altitude nuclear detonations and four others which were unsuccessful. One of these four ended up in a ball of flame on the launching pad but no nuclear explosion occurred.

Following his years of service, he returned to Belfast and for a short time he worked at the chemical plant in Searsport, then as a management trainee for the F.W. Woolworth Co., winding up in N.H. where he spent most of his adult life. In 1966 he became employed at a local bank and rose to the position of vice president. Following 23 years in banking he became employed by the U.S. Small Business Administration as Assistant District Director for Finance and transferred to the Augusta office and commuted for the next four years until his retirement in 2005.

Throughout his life, John enjoyed motorcycling and particularly his Honda Goldwing. He also enjoyed computer games and collecting sea glass from the shores of Penobscot Bay, and he was an avid reader.

He leaves behind his sister Marta Clements; her three sons and their wives, Drs. David Clements and Audrey Lazenby, their daughters, Carolyn, Peggy and Julia; Bruce and Cindy Clements, their daughter Sarah and son Kyle; and Eric and Tambra Clements and their sons Conor and Zach. Also, his step-sister Shirley Harvey and her sons Kenneth and Karl MacLeod; his cousin Barbara Goldberg; and finally his dear friend and former wife, Nancie Rohde Blahut.

John was predeceased by his mother Charlotte Thompson; father Werner Rohde; stepfather Karl Thompson; grandparents Elmer and Nellie Decrow; brother-in-law Nicholas Clements; and his uncle and aunt Elmer and Helen Decrow.

Memories and condolences may be shared at ripostafh.com.

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