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James Kenneth Rosemond

James Kenneth Rosemond

August 25, 1958 - May 27, 2019

Captain James "Ken" Rosemond was the very embodiment of a storyteller. He told stories to his children, to the customers on his dive boat Tortuga, to friends old and newly met. When he told a story his whole person lit up- every tale he wove became an epic. His own life story was that of a curious man with an adventurer's soul. <br /> <br /> Born in Wilmington, North Carolina, in August 1958 to parents Barbara Ann Ballenger and Kenneth Walker Rosemond, Ken was raised between the piedmonts of North Carolina and Georgia, alongside his younger brother, Kevin. Ken spent his formative years in both Durham and Athens, following his father's career coaching college basketball; a sport that Ken loved as both an athlete and a spectator. After graduating from Jordan High School in 1976, he became a University of Richmond Spider, following in his father's footsteps as a college basketball player. Topping 6'9" at the height of his height, Ken was a shoo-in for the sport (he would add here that he could also jump like a deer). It was during this time, that he had a truly life changing experience, a story that he would tell for the rest of his life. On a college basketball trip to the Bahamas Ken had the opportunity to snorkel on a coral reef for the first time, and he fell deeply in love. The novelty of seeing below the waves, of glimpsing another world, was enchanting and something he could never get enough of. <br /> <br /> After college, Ken put his natural affinity for both socializing and storytelling to good work and went into sales- first door to door computer sales and later the ultra-hip UltraSuede. He met and married his first wife, Cathy Waldron, with whom he had three children- Elena, Reid, and Ryan. They moved from Durham to Florida in pursuit of the ultra suede dream, a move that allowed Ken to stretch his legs as a boatsman and a mariner. Many of those Florida years were spent on the ocean- exploring small islands made of mangroves, snorkeling on beautiful coral reefs, and (his favorite) getting hot dogs from the Coney Island hot dog boat. <br /> <br /> In 1996, a change of careers (and family arrangements) brought Ken back to Durham, where he met his second wife, Janet Pigeon, and began selling "configuration management" (a term that he could never adequately define to his children). Throwing caution to the wind and trusting that their love would serve as the necessary foundation, Janet and Ken combined their six children into a big, happy, Brady Bunch style blended family- Lauren, Elena, Daniel, Reid, Ryan, and Genevieve- six kids within six years of age. The Pigiemonds settled into Durham for a life that included plenty of growing pains, more laughter than you can measure, and a lot of parental eye rolling. <br /> <br /> After getting certified to SCUBA dive with Elena, Ken found his next adventure. With his friend, Scotty Pearce, he discovered the beauty and excitement of diving in the North Carolina waters- hunting flounder, exploring shipwrecks, and beholding the glory of an entire world just out of sight, deeper than anything he had encountered, while snorkeling and free diving. In 2008, he officially became Captain James and christened his six pack dive boat Tortuga. Based in his beloved Morehead City, Ken spent the last 11 years taking his customers and friends (the terms were rarely mutually exclusive) out on the sea, exploring wrecks, ledges, and favorite spots under the ocean's surface. Ken was his happiest self on the water. Never sea sick a day in his life, he found peace, challenge, and joy in the ocean. <br /> <br /> Ken is loved and cherished in memory by his wife, Janet; his children and their families, Elena & Dan, Lauren & Bradley, Reid & Jourdi, Daniel & Jenni, Genevieve & Naoise, Ryan & Erin; his brother Kevin, sister-in-law, Lori & their children, Charlie & Anna; his beloved grandchildren, Iris & Everett; a large & loving extended family; and a bevy of close friends. His life will be celebrated this Sunday, June 2nd, at 1:30pm at Off the Hook in Morehead City. Please join us in wishing the Captain fair winds and following seas. <br /> <br /> In lieu of flowers we invite friends and loved ones to donate to the Coral Restoration Foundation in his honor. https://www.coralrestoration.org/donations

Services by
Munden Funeral Home & Crematory

2112 Arendell Street, Morehead City, NC

Events

Jun 02
Celebration of life

Sunday, 1:30 PM -3:30 PM

Off the Hook

105 S 7th St, Morehead City, NC 28557

Get directions

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    I had the pleasure of diving with Capt James several times, all were totally enjoyable.... One time he gave me a megladon shark tooth to fool one of my dive buddies... It worked, he thought I found it. But the best of the whole day was that Capt James gave me the tooth to keep, forever, for my own... Still have it... Will very much miss you Capt James... Thanks for the memories, Love you, Stacey
    stacey kranick Jun 05, 2019
    Sending so much love to you all. We'll miss the Captain's visits to NOLA, he was always the life of the party!
    Laurin, Brittany & Laura Jun 03, 2019
    Fair winds and following seas, Captain.
    John Whichard May 30, 2019
    I first met Ken (Capt. Rosemond) on NCDivers. He wasn't a Captain then, just a diver. He dove a lot with Scotty inshore, and wrote "Hiding on the Bottom" about those adventures. Ken hosted a dive/party called Swampfest in 2007 for the NCDIvers group. I was one of the participants there, got to stay in the Swamphouse, and that was when I really got to know Ken well. I had several return trips to the swamphouse with Ken, and a few years later he purchased Tortuga. I crewed for Ken on several of his Meg Ledge trips to Wilmington, and videos from those trips are saved in perpetuity on my youtube/vimeo channels (fpsndiver). I was going through a terrible personal time the last few years, and regret that I didn't get to dive with Ken last year, but was looking forward to the possibility this year. Ken talked to me at length about the mess I was going through, and certainly helped to bring clarity to my situation. I will miss him greatly! I am very sorry for his family, because I believe he was a good man. Ken you were as good a dive boat Captain as I ever met (right up there with Buck Wilde, George) and other legends you aspired to be. You were a good friend, and a great diver. I am sad to see you go so early, but pray you watch over us as we continue doing what you loved to do.
    Tom Tilmon (fpsndiver) May 28, 2019
    I was so saddened by the news of Ken’s passing. He was a good soul ... that allowed women but NEVER a banana on his boat. His obituary must have been written by one of his children that can tell stories like he did. He was so proud of his children and wife. He not only loved them but really liked them! You could tell by the way he spoke about them. Diving out of Morehead will never be the same. God’s peace to the family and may the memories and laughs sustain you. Rest In Peace Ken
    Tammy Batschelet May 28, 2019
    Facebook friends, story writing friends, and diver friends. Ken will be missed in many areas of life. Condolences to his family.
    Roger Skillman May 28, 2019
    I wanted to give my condolences to the family. I am so for the loss of your love one.
    May the peace of God that excels all thought I sustain and keep you during the difficult days head. – Philippians 4:7
    Renisea Avery May 28, 2019
    Always enjoyed hanging out with Kenny. He had a quirky sense of humor and a really cool chill demeanor which lead to fun times and thoughtful conversations. Muffin and I are truly floored by his passing . Our thoughts and prayers are with Jan and the family. The earth lost a true renaissance man. Heaven is a better place now. Rest In Peace Captain. Jake Dixon
    Jake Dixon May 28, 2019
    Ken and I were FB friends thru NC diving and actually only got to meet only once in person. I don’t know if it was we were both divers or both 6’9” or just Ken’s personality or all of the above, we hit it off! The description above of Kens life couldn’t have been written more perfectly and captured what I experienced.
    RIP Ken and swim forever where we never bump our 6’9” heads!
    Paul Hudy aka BFDC & nc-wreckdiving.com May 28, 2019