Upon filling out Jim’s death certificate, the question of “former occupation” arose. Kate’s answer, “Retired Renaissance Man” was rejected, either for not being sufficiently mundane or for conjuring up images of tilts on horseback. Too bad, because “Retired Renaissance Man” fit Jim better than any job title ever could.
Even describing Jim as a man of the world would be giving him short shrift. He was, instead, a man of many worlds: a Norwegian among Serbians, an urbanite who retired to small town life, and an Ohio flatlander who admired his daughter’s love of the mountain west. He was a staunch liberal who read conservative political pages and he sold 19th century pottery through e-commerce. He admired art and created it. And even when age and illness stole his physical vitality, he remained intellectually engaged to the end.
Best of all, though, he embraced family, not only his own but the large and noisy Oklok clan as well. Together, he and Kate made 134 S. 8th Street a place that for the many siblings, in-laws, nieces and nephews would always be home.
His legacy lives on through his daughter and grandchildren whose interests range from hiking to robotics. It also lives through the many people he made think twice about something or consider for the first time. He will be sorely missed.
Memorial donations may be made to Habitat for Humanity in care of Bringman Clark Funeral Home 226 E. Wyandot Ave. Upper Sandusky, Ohio 43351.