Roger Gilligan

Roger Gilligan

Roger F. Gilligan of Plainwell, Michigan passed away Wednesday, May 9, 2012, in Battle Creek with his loving family by his side. Mr. Gilligan was born in Hopkins, MI on May 18, 1927 to Walter and Georgia (Flynn) Gilligan. As a young man Roger worked on the family farm until he enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served his country in the Pacific Theater during WWII. Following his time in the Navy he worked for Mac-Sim-Bar for a short time before eventually purchasing the Mobil Gas Station in Otsego, he later owned and operated Rog and Bob’s Marathon Station where he worked until retirement in 1977. Following his retirement Roger worked for the Otsego Public Schools as a mechanic at the bus garage for over 10 years. As a young man Roger had also raced stock cars and had been a very successful driver, he still holds the record for most consecutive feature race wins with 11 at the Galesburg Speedway. In 1987 he was inducted into the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame. He had been a member and former Post Commander at VFW Post #3030 in Otsego and had been a longtime member of the Otsego Elks Lodge. On November 18, 1949 in Allegan he married Marjorie Barber.  He and Marjorie enjoyed traveling together and spent many winters together in Florida.Surviving Roger are a son and a daughter, James (Carleen) Gilligan of Plainwell and Ann (Paul) Petersen of Otsego; three grandchildren, Sheila (Mike) Howard, Todd Petersen and Jaime (Aaron) Kortokrax; seven great-grandchildren, Jake, Ryan and Samantha Howard, Timothy Petersen and Zach, Drew and Cole Kortokrax; a brother Bill Gilligan of Kalamazoo and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife who preceded him in death in 2011. parents; siblings, Joe Gilligan and Joan Hazard.

Cremation has taken place; burial of ashes will take place with military honors at Hillside Cemetery in Plainwell. A celebration of Roger’s life will be held on May 26, 2012 from 2 to 6 P.M. at the Otsego V.F.W.

Contributions in memory of Roger may be made to VFW Post #3030, 124 N. Farmer St., Otsego, MI  49078.

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Messages of Condolence

  1. Agnes Schmitt Vanarsdal says:

    My very deepest sympathy to the Gilligan Family. I first remember Roger, when Bill White and I down to the gas station on the weekend and wash the car inside the garage. Not sure why we were aloud to, but I am thinking because Roger was so nice. Roger always had a smile and a ear to listen. May God’s grace be with all who loved him.

    In Christ Love,
    Agnes Schmitt Vanarsdal

  2. Robin Moran says:

    My sympathy to the family. Roger will be missed very much. I feel lucky to have gotten to know Roger while he was at LCCP. I enjoyed joking around with him . He was very much a joker and a gentlemen.He will always be in our thoughts. Robin

  3. Tim Fletcher says:

    So sorry to hear. Roger taught me a lot as a young guy when I worked for him while going to high school back in the 70’s. I never forgot him even though I had not seen him in years. I have told stories many times over of some of the funniest things I have ever experienced involving him. I loved him and my deepest sympathies to his family. Tim Fletcher

  4. PATTY BOWLBY says:


  5. Esta Nichols says:

    We were so sorry to hear about Rogers passing. My God be with you at this time. Sincerely The Nichols Family Jack, Betty, Esta

  6. Lisa Irwin says:

    Roger was a good friend of my father, Scott Irwin. He was also very good to my mother. I remember him taking very good care of our cars. I remember him with a ready smile and easy manner. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. May God surround you with His comfort and peace.
    Lisa Irwin

  7. Bob and Barb Fuller says:

    Jim, Carleen, Ann, Paul, and families, We have known Rog and Marge for over 44 years. Bob and Rog were partners in business for a long time and were very close friends. They shared a lot of fond memories and lots of laughter during that time. They were our “extended family”and over the years we spent every Christmas Eve with them as well as Sunday football games, graduations, weddings, etc. We spent so much time with Rog & Marge and family that our children started calling them grandma and grandpa. We cherish the memories with you “family” and we share your sorrow too. With our love and sympathy, Bob and Barb Fuller

  8. richard gerlofs says:

    roger and I were very close friends since 1950, when I met him in the pits at Galesburg speedway. I built a model of rogers # 21, the fastest car on any track. I had the kalamazoo old timers club wish I held every year at k s track. roger attended every one until his death. what a great person to know. r I p rog.

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