James Arthur Rooker – Davison Index
JAMES ARTHUR ROOKER, 91, of Davison, MI, passed away on Saturday, April 2, 2022. Cremation has taken place. Services provided by Allen Funeral Home will include visitation on Wednesday, April 20, 2022 from 4-7 p.m. The memorial service will be held Thursday, April 21, 2022 at 1:00 p.m., with the Reverend Dr. Joseph Novak officiating, with one hour prior visitation. A celebration of life for Jim and Jeanne, who predeceased him on February 1, will be held at the farm this summer.
Jim was born in Saginaw, MI on June 7, 1930, the son of the late John and Fay (Scull) Rooker. Jim graduated from Saginaw Arthur Hill in 1948. His strong sense of leadership began with his involvement in 4-H and the FFA. He was the recipient of the Upjohn Richland colt for his accomplishments in his senior year of 4-H. Jim attended Michigan State University, studied animal husbandry, went on to the College of Veterinary Medicine, and graduated in 1954. While at MSU, he joined the Block and Bridle Club where he met the love of his life, Jeanne. He married Jeanne Ackerman on December 19, 1953. After graduation, Jim served his country in the US Army Veterinary Corps, stationed in Chicago, Illinois and then Kansas City, MO.
Back in Michigan, Jim and Jeanne opened their co-ed veterinary clinic in 1958 and were later joined by Jim’s brother, John. Jim enjoyed sharing his veterinary knowledge as an assistant adjunct professor. He hosted Michigan State veterinary students on his many riding calls as well as at the hospital. In 2012, he was honored to receive the “Rooker Award for Excellence in Equine Practice” from the College of Veterinary Medicine. Jim was an active member of Davison Kiwanis, Rotary and the Genesee County Agricultural Society Board. He has served on the board of directors of the Michigan Quarter Horse Association, the Arabian Horse Association of Michigan, the Michigan Horse Show Association, and the American Horse Show Association. He was honored by the MHSA as “Equestrian of the Year” for his commitment to youth development by co-founding the All-Breed Youth Horse Show in Detroit and for donating a foal six years in a row to deserving 4-H members. In addition, Jim has served on the Arabian Horse Registry as a governing member for 31 years, five of which as president. Believing in the preservation of the Arabian horse, he was also a member of the Purebred Arabian Trust which established the Arabian Horse Gallery in Lexington, Kentucky.
Jim and Jeanne have had many great adventures with their horses, won countless awards and met many great friends from across the country. Together they are proud breeders of 264 Arabian horses and have owned 468 Arabian and half-Arabian horses.
Jim is survived by his loving daughters, Nancy (Robert) Meszko, Deborah (Kenneth) Geuns and Janet (David Johnston) Rooker; granddaughter, Christina (Fiancé, Jeff MacNaughton) Geuns; special cousin, George (Barbara) Killeen; special friends, Ken Merritt, Melissa (Tim) Wandrey and their daughters, James Johnson (Diana); dear brothers and sisters, William (Sandra) Rooker, Jean Rooker, John K. Rooker, Margaret Gehl and Shirley (Ronald) Gavenda; many other loving families and friends. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his beloved wife, Jeanne; father and stepmother, John and Helen Ackerman; brother, Gerald Rooker; brother-in-law, Gerald Gehl and sister-in-law, Jane Rooker.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Purebred Arabian Trust, c/o Robert Fauls, 9714 Niblick Lane, Naples, FL 34108; the Arab Riders Distress Fund, c/o Mary Trowbridge, 236 Henry Sanford Rd., Bridgewater, CT 06752; or the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine, Clinic Pet Memorial Program, Development and Alumni Relations at cvm.msu.edu/friends-alumni/memorial-gifts-and-gifts-in-honor.
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