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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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Obituary

ROCHFORD, DR. JAMES W.

ROCHFORD, DR. JAMES W. Dr. James Walter Rochford, fondly known as Jim by his friends and loved ones, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family on April 16, 2024. Born on January 30, 1951, to Eleanor and Edward Roch-ford in West Orange, NJ, Jim's warm smile and affable nature left an indelible mark on all who had the pleasure of knowing him. He is survived by his devoted wife of 52 years, Marilou Rochford. Marilou and Jim were dedicated to one another and built a loving family and life together in Cape May. Jim will be lovingly remembered by his three wonderful children, Christopher, Sean, and Caitlin Rochford, his daughter-in-law, Shannon and his three grandchildren, Autumn, Fiona and Mia. His brother, Edward Rochford, and his wife, Elaine, stand as a testament to their shared memories and fraternal bond. Also left to treasure his memory are his beloved brothers-in-law, Richard (Elaine), Bill (Heidi), and John (Karen) Merklinger and all his beautiful nieces and nephews. An esteemed graduate of Seton Hall Preparatory High School in 1969, Jim went on to distinguish himself at Montclair State University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1973. His relentless pursuit of excellence propelled him into the field of dentistry, which he embraced whole-heartedly upon earning his DMD from UMDNJ – New Jersey Dental School in 1976. Jim's professional journey was highlighted by notable service as a U.S. Public Health Officer with the U.S. Coast Guard in Cape May, NJ, from 1976 to 1979. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. His commitment to patient care and the community continued for the next 40 years, in his private practice in General Dentistry in Erma, NJ. Jim served with professionalism, integrity and dedication to his patients from 1979 until his retirement in 2019. A pillar in his local community, Jim was a parishioner of Our Lady Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church from 1976 until the time of his passing. Jim was an active member with the Kiwanis Club of Cape May for more than 40 years. He was recognized as a Distinguished Past President of the Club, was honored as a recipient of the Harvey E. Williams Award, Kiwanian of the Year in 2004, Legion of Honor by Kiwanis International and was a founding member of the Royal Aces. Jim was dedicated to education and served as an elected member of the Lower Township Elementary School Board beginning in 1987 and served on the board for 30 years, including a term as president. As an avid golfer Jim was a member of Wildwood Country Club and later became a founding member of the Cape May National Golf Club in 1991. Jim loved spending time on the golf course with friends who shared in his same passion for the game. Jim was proud to have been a two-time Cape May National Men's Club Champion and President Cup Champion. Jim's life was characterized by his endearing sense of humor, his friendly demeanor, and the loving attention he devoted to his family and friends. Whether he was on the fairways, cheering for the New York Giants and the San Francisco Giants, or serving his community, Jim did so with a joyful heart, generous soul and an infectious smile. A respected dentist, a community advocate, a devout parishioner, and a sports enthusiast, Jim mastered the art of living a truly well-rounded life. Those who had the privilege of experiencing his humor, his inclusive friendliness, and his deep-seated loving nature will miss him dearly. Jim Rochford's story is not solely about his interests or achievements but about the countless lives he touched with his generosity, his kindness, and his remarkable spirit. A life well-lived, filled with laughter, devotion, and an undying love for those he called family. It is with immense respect and affection that we bid farewell to Dr. James Walter Rochford. His absence will be deeply felt, yet his memory will continue to inspire laughter, kindness, and love in the hearts of all who were blessed to know him. Although Jim's journey on earth may have concluded, his influence will resonate for generations to come. Jim's viewing will take place on Tuesday (April 23rd) from 6:30pm until 8pm in the Spilker Funeral Home, 815 Washington St., Cape May. An additional viewing will be offered on Wednesday (April 24th) from 12:30 until 1:15pm in Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, 525 Washington St., Cape May where Jim's Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 1:30pm. Interment will follow in Cold Spring Cemetery Veterans Field of Honor, Lower Township. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jim's memory to: Seton Hall Preparatory School, ATTN: Msgr. Michael Kelly, President, 120 Northfield Ave., West Orange, NJ 07052 or to Kiwanis Club of Cape May, P.O. Box 124, Cape May, NJ 08204 Specify Kiwanis Scholarship Fund or Kiwanis Memorial Fund. Info and condolences: spilkerfuneralhome.com

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