Celebrating the life of Roger Jay Buikema
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ROGER JAY BUIKEMA, 83, of Morrison, IL, died peacefully Thursday morning, November 5, 2020, at his and his wife’s Windsor Manor residence.
Roger was born September 15, 1937 in Morrison, IL, to Perry and Tena (Wilkens) Buikema. He attended Morrison grade schools and was a graduate of Morrison Community High School. He received a B.S. in Education and, a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Guidance from Northern Illinois University. On June 13, 1959 he married Marla Timmons of Fulton, IL. Not long after they married, Roger designed and built the family home he and Marla shared for over fifty years.
Roger’s teaching career spanned thirty-eight. It began with four years of teaching physics and math at Lyndon High School in Lyndon, IL. Thereafter, and for the rest of his career, he taught physical science, chemistry and physics and was head of the Science Department at Morrison Community High School. During retirement, Roger kept busy as a self-employed professional painter. He enjoyed outdoor activities, fishing, biking, gardening and photography. Roger’s commitment to his faith and church, Ebenezer Reformed in Morrison, was evidenced his service as elder, deacon, Sunday school teacher, youth group leader and choir member. In his later years, Roger and his wife worshiped with Emmanuel Reformed Church, sang with Voices of Praise choir and fellowshipped with YAH Seniors Group. His commitment to service continued to his community as well. Roger served on Morrison’s Library Board, School Board, City Council, and many other volunteer organizations.
Roger’s greatest joy was spending time with his family and friends. He was a bit of a romantic and a clever cowboy. He loved all things western. On their honeymoon adventure in Colorado, Roger somehow managed to arrange a surprise cowboy serenade for his beautiful new bride. He was a man of faith and a follower of Christ; a loving and devoted husband, a caring father, a true loyal friend and a passionate teacher. His beautiful smile, mischievous twinkling eyes and warm embrace will be remembered by his beloved wife Marla; daughters Krista (Paul) Ritsema of VA, Jana Ortiz of NJ, and Heather (Gíovanni) Díaz-Coñrado of TX; grandchildren, Hannah (Nicolas) Van Balen of VA, Nathaniel Ritsema of CA, Maya Díaz-Buikema of CO and Ava Díaz-Buikema of TX. Roger was preceded in death by his parents, sister and his infant son Daniel Lee.
In lieu of flowers please send a donation to the American Diabetes Foundation or the Alzheimer’s Association.
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