Life Story / Obituary
Roger Duane Straatmeyer, 81, died Sunday, April 18, 2021 after battling pancreatic cancer in Kalamazoo, MI. Roger was born near Lennox, SD in a barn (“just like Jesus” he’d say) to Claus and Tilda Straatmeyer on October 12, 1939. In 1958, Roger joined the U.S. Air Force as a security forces Airman after graduating from Lennox High School. On Nov. 9, 1960 Roger married Marge Specht in Sioux Falls, where they raised their one child Kristin until Marge’s death in 1994. In Sioux Falls, Roger and Marge were founding members of Westminster Presbyterian Church. Roger worked as a buyer, and later a salesman, for Interstate Office Products in Sioux Falls until 2014. On September 25, 1995, Roger married Marti Dunlap, and gained two step-children, Michael Dunlap, and Jennifer (Dunlap) Fiore. They resided in Sioux Falls until moving to Kalamazoo, MI in 2016.
Roger enjoyed spending his free time bowling, and watching the Rams and Dodgers play. However, his greatest enjoyment came from watching his grandchildren grow up. Favorite games included “stealing Opa’s pen,” and “getting Opa’s spare change.” Some of his fondest memories were from “grandchild trips” where he and Marti loaded up 2 to 5 grandchildren and headed to northern MN for week-long adventures through the Northwoods where the children learned about “fine dining,” eagles, wolves, mines, and crossing the Mississippi headwaters.
Roger will be missed by many, including his wife Marti of Kalamazoo, MI; his brother Dr. A.J. Straatmeyer and wife, Marcine, of Gilbert, AZ; brother-in-law Ken Anderson of Gilbert, AZ; and three children: Kristin Straatmeyer and daughter Sophia of Coon Rapids, MN; Michael (Connie) Dunlap and sons Aiden and Kade of Waunakee, WI; and Jennifer (John) Fiore and children Miranda and Jackson of Kalamazoo, MI. Roger was preceded in death by his parents Claus and Tilda Straatmeyer, and sister Faye (Straatmeyer) Anderson. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in honor of Roger to the Sioux Falls Humane Society, as he was an avid animal lover. Visit Roger’s personal webpage at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com where you may archive a favorite memory or photo, and sign his online guestbook. Arrangements by Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo, MI 49009 (269) 375-2900