Remembering Jim Paquette    Tom Holkeboer

A good roommate always made the rigors of cadet life more bearable. Thankfully, I had a string of great roommates. I appreciate this opportunity to reflect a little on one particular roommate, the positive thinking Jim Paquette.  It’s been 14 years since he passed away and I still count it a privilege to have known him. His gymnastic skills, all around zeal for life, and continual optimism all combined to encourage me in many ways. One area in which he was not especially optimistic was in the realm of eternity. This led to some great discussions and we would “temporarily” forgo academic studies to study the Bible. It was especially rewarding to me to see Jim grow in optimism about eternal life based on his faith in Jesus Christ. When I last saw him a couple of years before his death, he was still optimistic about life and eternity.

I remember one incident where Jim and I decided we made a pretty good team. One night we were in our room when we heard people start to tape our door shut. We decided to let them go ahead while we provided some disruptions such as blowing fire under the door with aerosol cans.  When a good sized puddle of lighter fluid and then flame appeared on our side of the door, we washed it back out with water – creating quite a commotion in the hall.  With a good combination of brains and brawn, we were able to get out in just a few minutes – to discover several perpetrators, massive amounts of masking tape, and one burned mop.


Bill Van Horn

9491 South Johnson Court 

Littleton, CO 80127


303-948-8435   work

303-596-3615   cell


USAFA Class of '74 - published a book of our experiences for our 40th reunion!



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