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Memorial to honor devoted craftsman John George Roehm


John George Roehm, a longtime Spokane-area homebuilder, was being remembered this week for his dedication to craftsmanship.

“He was all about quality and relationships,” said his daughter, Robyn Cannon, of Seattle.

A memorial service for Roehm will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Spokane Country Club, 2010 W. Waikiki Road.

He died on Nov. 10 at his home in northwest Spokane following a diagnosis of lung cancer in June. He was 88.

Roehm was born on Oct. 12, 1924, in St. Louis, Mo., one of four boys. He followed a family tradition in the building trades that traced back to 1791 in Germany.

The fifth-generation carpenter moved to Spokane in 1971 and started his own business, Roehm Carlon General Contractors, which became known for fine custom homes and attention to Old World detail.

In 1997, he was honored with a master craftsmanship award by the Spokane Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. He and his three brothers had received a similar award in 1961 in St. Louis.

Spokane architect Steve Clark called Roehm the “quintessential craftsman” in a 1997 news story about the Spokane award.

“He was so completely dedicated to craftsmanship,” Cannon said. “He treated each space as a very unique and special space.”

His longtime physician, Dr. Leroy Byrd, had visited Roehm in the last months of his life after the two formed a friendship during construction of the Byrd home, Cannon said. Roehm had installed a salvaged hotel staircase as a showcase feature, she said.

Friends could count on a friendly conversation at the Roehm home with beer served in ice-cold German steins.

Roehm built his own home at the western end of Northwest Boulevard on a lot overlooking Riverside State Park and the Bowl and Pitcher area.

Along with good carpentry, Roehm enjoyed domestic travel, history, aviation and automobiles. He drove a spotless Mercedes-Benz and had done jobs for the Mercedes dealer in Spokane, Cannon said.

Roehm is survived by Cannon and her husband, Don Cannon; brothers Alfred and Frederick, of St. Louis; and seven nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Spokane, 121 S. Arthur St.

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