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, IL. Sam was born August 1, 1930 in Edwards, Illinois a son of James Frank and Mary Ellen King Rogers. He married LaDonne Doubet March 28, 1953 in Peoria, Illinois. She preceded him in death in 2002. Surviving are his son, Donald and daughter, Debra both of East Peoria, Illinois. 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 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, East Peoria, building LL Toading 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, Arizona 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 twenty years at Peoria Speedway. Sam, along with fellow track official, Dale Houghman, organized bus trips to stock car races in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. According to his wishes, cremation rites have been accorded. Memorial services and burial at Cottonwood Cemetery in Peoria are pending.
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