Roger L. "Gooey" Claeys, 79, of Atkinson, passed away on Saturday, August 18, 2018, at Hammond Henry Hospital in Geneseo, Illinois. A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, August 24, 2018, at First Baptist Church in Geneseo. Reverend David Murphy will officiate. Burial will follow in St. Anthony Catholic Cemetery in Atkinson. Visitation will be held from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 23, 2018, at Vandemore Funeral Home & Crematory, Atkinson Chapel. Memorials may be directed to the First Baptist Church or Atkinson Rescue Squad.
Roger was born on December 3, 1938, the son of Joseph and Lola (VanVolkenburg) Claeys, in Atkinson, Illinois. He attended Atkinson schools. Roger married Augustine A. “Augie” Martin on August 30, 1957, in Antioch, California. He worked as a combine inspector for John Deere Harvester Works in East Moline for 31 years and retired from the company. Roger was a member of First Baptist Church in Geneseo for many years.
Roger was a UAW member and proud US Navy veteran. Roger loved riding his Harley and took many trips to motorcycle races and events. Roger loved country music and put together his own band “The Westerners”. They played at VFW and Eagles halls, and local celebrations. Roger enjoyed the fine art of making homemade wine and salsa and managed to put in a gigantic garden every year. He won several ribbons for the famous cantaloupes that he grew. Roger loved to play pool and pics, and also loved to camp and fish. He took many fishing trips with family and friends, and always shared a story about the one that got away! Roger enjoyed flying. He obtained his pilot license and owned his own plane. He made several trips to the EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh WI, and received two trophies for “Best Original Airplane Condition”. He had a special place in his heart for his Shelties, Bandit and Gracie, enjoyed life to its fullest, helped people with their taxes, and was a loving and caring husband and father.
Those left to cherish his memory include his wife, Augie, daughters, Judy (Larry Lewis) Claeys, Atkinson, and Jana (Dale) Claeys-Rozendaal, Lynnville, IA, grandchildren; Anita (Bill) Theisen, Moline, Ashlie (Mike) Lively, Geneseo, and Andrea (Matt) Oliver, Roseburg, OR, a step-grandson, Brandon (Melissa) Rozendaal and twelve great-grandchildren.
Roger was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Lola, and three brothers, Don, Jack, and Bob Claeys.