Roger Wiedenbeck, 73, of Three Rivers, passed away Monday, Oct. 3, 2011 at Borgess Medical Center. Roger was born on Dec. 28, 1937 in Three Rivers, the son of Don “Dooley” and Leona (Deidrick) Wiedenbeck.
Mr. Wiedenbeck graduated from Three Rivers High School in 1956 and received his Engineering degree from Purdue University in 1961.
On June 22, 1962, Roger was united in marriage to Jean (Jernigan) Wiedenbeck in Pensacola, Fla. They settled in Three Rivers where Roger was employed as a Research Engineer for The Johnson Corporation, now Kadant Johnson Inc. Over the years, Roger held many positions within The Johnson Corporation including Regional Sales Manager, Assistant Chief Engineer, Vice President of Engineering, Executive Vice President of Engineering/R&D/Manufacturing, President/CEO and Chairman of the Board. He also served as an officer to all of Johnson’s subsidiary companies. He retired from The Johnson Corporation in 1997 after 37 years of dedicated service to the company. During his professional career, Mr. Wiedenbeck served as a member of TAPPI (Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry), APMA (American Paper Machinery Association), American Management Association, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and Fluid Controls Institute.
Over the years, Mr. Wiedenbeck served his community as a director of The First National Bank (now Southern Michigan Bank and Trust), board member and past president of Camp Wakeshma, board member and past president of Three Rivers Rotary Club where he was a recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow award, board member and past president of the Three Rivers Area Chamber of Commerce, board member and officer of Three Rivers Jaycees, past president and board member of Three Rivers Cotillion Club, Glen Oaks Community College trustee, Michigan Colleges Foundation trustee, and he also served on many advisory committees for civic groups and area schools, colleges and universities. He also coached many years in Jr. Pro basketball, FOP baseball and rocket football programs and served as a past president of TRHS Band Parents.
Mr. Wiedenbeck was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Three Rivers where he taught Sunday School for many years and also served as an Elder, past Clerk of Session, past Chairman of the Board of Trustees, served on numerous committees, and was a member of the Adult Bell Choir. In later years, Roger spent the winter months in Pensacola, Fla. and was an active family visitor with Trinity Presbyterian Church. Along with enjoying every aspect of Trinity and the many people he loved there, he especially enjoyed the fellowship and study of the weekly Men’s Ministry Bible Study and their annual Men’s Retreat at Dogwood Acres.
Roger took great joy in spending time with his family. He will always be remembered by his family and friends for his integrity, kindness and wonderful sense of humor.
Mr. Wiedenbeck was preceded in death by his daughter, Rebecca (Wiedenbeck) Sampson in 1997, and his parents.
He leaves to cherish his loving memory his wife, Jean of Three Rivers; daughter, Wendy (David) Davies of Pensacola, Fla.; son, Stephen (Wendy) Wiedenbeck of Denver, Colo.; son-in-law, Michael (Yvonne) Sampson of Dimondale; eight grandchildren, Lucas Davies, Madeleine, Emily, Nicholas, Shannon and Claire Sampson, Kyle Kelley, Sam Wiedenbeck; sister, Sandy “Gus” Dobrzelewski; brother-in-law, David (Patti) Jernigan; sister-in-law, Sheryl (Bill) Bragwell, nieces and nephews, Katie Schiyer, Frank, Don and Andrea Dobrzelewski, Amanda Harper, Ginger Jernigan, Todd and Kevin Bragwell, several grand-nieces and -nephews, and countless loving friends and colleagues all over the world.
Roger’s family will receive friends from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 7 at the Hohner Funeral Home.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8 with calling hours starting at 9:30 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Three Rivers, with Revs. Jon and Brenda Deily officiating. A memorial service will also be held at a later date at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Pensacola, Fla. with Rev. Dr. Hugh Hamilton officiating.
Interment will be held at South Park Cemetery, Three Rivers.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Roger’s memory can be directed to First Presbyterian Church, 320 N. Main St., Three Rivers, MI 49093; Camp Wakeshma through Hohner Funeral Home, 1004 Arnold Street, P.O. Box 1018, Three Rivers, MI 49093 or Trinity Presbyterian Church, 3400 Bayou Blvd., Pensacola, FL 32503. Envelopes will also be available at Hohner Funeral Home.