Oehler Funeral Home


John "Jack" O. Rothermel Jr.

July 15, 1932February 9, 2021
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John (Jack) O. Rothermel Jr., 88 was born on July 15, 1932 and passed away peacefully on February 9th, 2021. He was the loving husband of Shirley, doting father of Jill and Cheryl (Tom) Welsh, fond brother of Robert (Marsha) Rothermel and brother-in-law of Audrey (late Ralph) Nosal, and dear uncle of Derrick (Molly) and the late Lindsay (Michael) Pawula.

Jack was a chartered property casualty underwriter for over 60 years and managed his own insurance brokerage agency. By day, he was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed shooting, hunting, fishing, and boating. At night, he put on his dancing shoes, and was the star dancer of the ballroom. Jack played the French Horn with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He loved to tell jokes and had a heart of gold. Visitation Sunday, February 14, 2021 from 1pm until 5pm at Oehler Funeral Home 2099 Miner St., Des Plaines, IL., and Monday February 15, 2021 from 10am until time of Funeral Mass 11am at St. Emily Catholic Church 1400 E. Central Rd. Mt. Prospect, IL. 60056. Interment All Saints Cemetery. Funeral info 847-824-5155


  • Visitation

    Sunday, February 14, 2021

  • Visitation

    Monday, February 15, 2021

  • Mass of Christian Burial

    Monday, February 15, 2021

  • Committal Service

    Monday, February 15, 2021


John "Jack" O. Rothermel Jr.

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Herb Spalding

February 20, 2021

Once you became friends with John Rothermel, it was a lifelong proposition. Since the day John appointed my father, Bud Spalding, as a Safeco agent in 1965 -- through John's merging his own successful insurance agency with Bud's Com-Co Insurance Agency in the 1990's -- continuing past the death of my father in 2002, to his own passing -- John remained an agent with Com-Co and a friend of the Spalding family.
In addition to being a lifelong business associate, John was a close friend of Bud and family. John was a legendary sportsman and loved hunting and fishing. I recall getting to know John when I was around 12 years of age on a fishing trip with him and my father. We traveled to Minaki, Ontario to fish for northern pike, walleye, and bass. John and dad really showed me the ropes, and we all caught lots of fish. After filling the stringer with walleye one morning, John and dad decided to do a proper shore lunch on a small island. We carried the stringer of fish and frying pan to the shore and the guys started cleaning the fish. I went on a short hike to check out the island. As I was returning to the cooking area, I noticed that the boat was drifting away from the island. I yelled out, and without missing a beat, John ran down to the shore at full speed and leaped into the air. He managed to get one foot in the boat and the other into the lake. Thanks to his leaping prowess, John saved the day and we were able to enjoy our shore lunch without being marooned.
Although John loved to fish, his true sporting passion was hunting. My brothers Tom and Andy used to duck hunt with John and his buddies on the Mississippi River. John was always the lead duck caller due to his success with calling in the ducks. He was so good at it, that his buddies gave John the nickname of "Human Duck." Since I never hunted with John, I can't really attest to John's ability to sound like a duck. But after his gravity defying rescue of our fishing boat, I knew that he could fly like one.

David Meinhardt

February 18, 2021

Erika and I were so saddened to learn of Jack's passing. Although we have not seen each other much for many years, I remember the times we spent together growing up in Chicago. We planned to visit Chicago and see Jack and his family in May 2020 but had to cancel our trip due to the Covid virus pandemic. We still hoped to travel to Chicago after the pandemic had passed. Unfortunately, we will no longer be able to see Jack and are very sorry. Erika and I would like to extend our most sincere sympathy to Jack's family.

Dave and Erika Meinhardt

Loving daugher, Jill

February 16, 2021

Part II of II

My father loved his outdoor sports – shooting, hunting, coho salmon fishing and boating. If any man should have had a son, it was my father. When his second child came along, another girl, my sister, Cheryl, he couldn’t have been happier.

He had an affectionate nickname for my mother, “Tiger.” I was “Tigerette” and my sister, Cheryl, was “Mini-Tigerette.” He named his first boat “My Three Tigers.” He could not have been prouder of his three tigers.

He was a family man and we always did family things. He took great care of our family. He made sure we had everything we wanted.

My father was always so proud of me, and I would like him to know that I am as proud of him.

Now when I am asked, “Hey Jill, where’s Jack?” I will let everyone know that Jack has earned his seat next to God. He is looking down on my mother, sister, and me right now, continuing to care for us. Cheryl and I were blessed to have the best father that we could ever hope for. Until the day when we are back together, we will continue to love him and miss him very much.

Loving Daugher, Jill

February 16, 2021

Part I of II

My Uncle Ralph once shared with me a story about my father, Jack, and how I came into this world. Uncle Ralph told me how incredibly proud Jack was to become a father and have a newborn daughter. Jack acted like he was the only man in the world to ever have a baby girl.

It seemed perfectly appropriate when my parents were deciding what to call me – there was no question, no doubt -- of course, I would be named “Jill.” He was my “Jack” and I was his “Jill.”

When I was a little girl, friends and family members would make reference to the nursery rhyme, thought they were being cute and funny and would ask me “Hey Jill, where’s Jack?” I would look up at them, point at my father, in disbelief they couldn’t see he was standing next to me, and I would declare “He’s right here.”

My father played the French horn. It was important to him that I learn a musical instrument. I played the accordion. He carried that huge case containing that heavy instrument for me to every lesson, school assembly so I could perform, and even to McCormick Place when I played in a competition.

There is not one thing he would not have done for me – well, except maybe one thing.

My father was an excellent dancer. At family weddings and other events, everyone always cleared the dance floor for my father and mother. They were Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. My father didn’t particularly care to dance with me – I wasn’t my mother – I had two left feet – and I would certainly step on his.

That is how my parents met – at a dance at the Edgewater Beach Hotel. From their very first step, it was magic – they were in perfect sync -- as if they had been dancing together their entire lives. Little did the dance partners know at that moment, that they would become life partners and go on to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.

Tom Spalding

February 15, 2021

John was a good friend and business associate of our family since the early 1970's. He always had a smile on his face and was quick with a joke. He was a very loyal and caring guy who would do anything he could to help with anything you needed. That's also why his insurance customers loved and appreciated him so much. He had several that were with him for over 40 years.

There are so many stories I could tell about John but my favorite is from going duck hunting with him back in the 90's. John was an avid duck caller. He had several duck calls he would use to try to lure in the fowl. Problem is, as soon as he'd start blowing into his prized duck calls, the birds would somehow get scared off leaving us nothing to shoot! After several trips to the Mississippi to hunt with him, I decided that duck hunting wasn't my thing but had a great time spending time with John anyway! He was a true gentleman and will be missed by all that knew him well.

Our most sincere condolences got out Shirley, Jill, and Cheryl during this difficult time.

Loving Daughter, Cheryl

February 14, 2021

The words I would use to describe my father are loving, generous and kind.

My father was never too busy for his girls. He eagerly took us to music lessons, recitals, school events and even became the chief of our tribe in Indian Princess. My father was our 'Sitting Bull' and Jill and I were his 'Silver Star' and Little Feather'.

Everyone knows that I was far from the perfect daughter, Jill. However, that does not mean I ever felt less special. My father was the person I knew I could count on and who would be there no matter what.

My mother, sister and I, always knew we were loved. We are going to miss him everyday for the rest of our lives.

Dad, I love you so much. Thank you for being the very best father a girl could ever have.

Derrick Nosal

February 14, 2021

Uncle Jack was one of a kind.
The way he always supported his family in all of their aspirations is something we should all strive to emulate.
If you needed to know about hunting, fishing, or shooting he was the person to ask. If you needed a good bird call in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner, he was the person to call on. And if you needed a overtold joke at a family gathering, he was the person to step up.
While there are many things I will always remember about Uncle Jack the most important one is more of a thank you. Thank you for guiding Ralph towards the career he embarked on, because without that assistance I wouldn't have the career and the ability to provide for my family the way you have.
You will be missed but never forgotten.
Your nephew, Derrick

Tom Welsh

February 13, 2021

The way Jack lived his life truly made him a role model. He was a dedicated worker who always supported his family. Jack consistently thought of his wife, Shirley and his daughters, Cheryl and Jill, before himself. He was a strong man who never once complained, even after his health failed. He loved life and loved to mingle with other people. I'll always be grateful for the way he accepted me into his family when I married Cheryl. I'll miss him.

Linda Psaras

February 11, 2021

Very sorry to hear. Prayers, comfort and love to Shirley, Jill and Cheryl. Enjoyed having Jack as my Godfather.