Landscapes 17

John Steven Rogers

August 7, 1950 ~ January 18, 2021 (age 70)


John Steven Rogers, 70, of Champaign, IL, passed away in the early evening of January 18, 2021 at his residence.  There will be a private graveside service at St. Joseph Cemetery in rural Ivesdale.

John was born August 7, 1950 in Watseka, IL, a son of Lloyd Burdette and Blanche Irene (West) Rogers.  He married Mary Jo Doyle on May 29, 1971 in Champaign.  She survives.  Also surviving is a son, Jason Rogers (Rachel) of Champaign, and a daughter, Bridget Rogers (Shande) of Madison, WI; five granddaughters, Ainsley, Leah, Kaleigh, Ayla and Avie; a brother, Philip Rogers (Teresa) of St. Joseph and a brother-in-law, Rich Howard of Champaign.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Andrea Howard.

John served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War.  He attended the University of Illinois and worked as a union laborer, and later, a realtor for Coldwell Banker.

John was known for his joie de vivre.  He would stroll out, often in a favorite Hawaiian shirt, to face the day with the heart of a poet and the politics of the Joneses’ mother. He enjoyed life to the fullest: music moved his soul---he wouldn’t miss the Willy Street Fair in his daughter’s adopted city---and spectator sports got his blood pumping. A fan of all U of I teams and Cardinals baseball, his open mind and free spirit allowed him to marry into a Cub family.

Industrial design was John’s early field of university study; his art became an avocation which at times totally engrossed him. At Halloween, he created intricate papier-mache masks for his two kids up until their teens, always including himself and his ‘Jo’ in the quartets of Dalmatians (with Cruella), Chipmunks (with Dave) or Pigs (with Big Bad Wolf). In more recent years, October would bring an acre of small pumpkins painted with expressive faces. His art was for sharing: the costumed foursome toured friends’ houses for treats after a suitable musical presentation, and his pumpkins would be distributed far and wide as tokens of friendship.

Real estate became John’s profession, a place where he combined his love of people with a positive attitude, an artist’s inspiration and a builder’s experience. After the premature death of his star-selling mother Blanche, John started a successful partnership with his wife which migrated to Coldwell Banker.

John married his high school sweetheart, Mary Jo Doyle, right before leaving for the Army and just months before their 21st birthdays.  They would survive the thick-and-thin of a long marriage with a sense of humor and--as RBG’s mother-in-law advised--occasional deafness, for nearly 50 years.

Let us repeat these words of Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr for John, who has left us with great peace:                      “Death will hold no terror for me, sheltered under God’s wings. May I rest in peace in life and in death.”

John brought much beauty and humor to us here. Let us walk him into the heart of God, where he is embraced at his arrival.

Our love and sympathy go out to all of you who knew John.

[In lieu of flowers, please send any donations to the charity of your choice---or to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota or the American Cancer Society.]

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