James Rogers

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EAST PEORIA - James S. "Sam" Rogers, 83, of East Peoria passed away at 5:50 a.m. Saturday, July 26, 2014, at VA Illiana Healthcare System in Danville, Ill.

Sam was born Aug. 1, 1930, in Edwards, Ill., a son of James Frank and Mary Ellen King Rogers. He married LaDonne Doubet on March 28, 1953, in Peoria, Ill. She preceded him in death in 2002.

Surviving are his son, Donald, and daughter, Debra, both of East Peoria, Ill. He was raised with five siblings. Surviving are Thelma Neal of Peoria and Mary Harker of Chillicothe. Preceding him in death were Frances Sparks, Erma Cheney and Donald Rogers. Sam is also survived by several nieces and nephews and a host of friends.

Sam proudly served in the U.S. Marine Corps 181st Mortar Division in South Korea from 1951 to 1953 and was on an Honor Guard for President Eisenhower.

Sam worked at Caterpillar Inc. in East Peoria, Building LL, loading equipment on rail cars. He also worked at several Peoria area salvage yards, including Neals, Jacks and Robertson's. In 1980, he relocated to Mesa, Ariz., where he was yard foreman at American Auto Wrecking. He participated in and won several Arizona Auto Dismantler competitions.

He was a lifelong stock car enthusiast who advanced from a wrecker driver to track official for nearly 20 years at Peoria Speedway. Sam, along with fellow track official, Dale Houghman, organized bus trips to stock car races in Milwaukee, Wis.

According to his wishes, cremation rites have been accorded. Memorial services and burial in Cottonwood Cemetery in Peoria are pending.

We encourage you to share your memories and/or condolences with the family at www.rortvedtfuneralservices.com.

Published in Peoria Journal Star from July 30 to July 31, 2014
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