Richard Rotramel thumbnail

Richard Rotramel

May 23, 1957 -
November 5, 2021

Richard Edward Rotramel, 64, of Champaign, passed away at home on Friday, November 5, 2021.

On May 23, 1957, Richard was born to William “Bill” Rotramel and Mary Margaret “Peggy” Duffy Rotramel in Champaign, IL. After attending Champaign Central High School, Richard went on to join the United States Navy in …read more

Richard Edward Rotramel, 64, of Champaign, passed away at home on Friday, November 5, 2021.

On May 23, 1957, Richard was born to William “Bill” Rotramel and Mary Margaret “Peggy” Duffy Rotramel in Champaign, IL. After attending Champaign Central High School, Richard went on to join the United States Navy in 1974.  In the Navy, he was stationed at Whidbey Island and Guam.  He got a kick out of sharing stories of his time overseas– especially about his roommate’s pet chicken.

After serving, Richard started a job with the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office while also volunteering at Eastern Prairie Fire Department, continuing his service career as a first responder. In 1984, Richard started with the University of Illinois Fire Department.  During that time, he rose through the ranks from FireFighter to Battalion Chief.  There are many fun memories with his firefighter family during that time, including boating trips, tailgates, Santa at the firehouse, July 3 pool parties, and Superbowl parties.  It wasn’t all play and no work, though, as Richard earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Western Illinois University in 1994.  In 1998 when the UIFD closed, Richard transferred to the Urbana Fire Department and served there until his retirement in 2009.  He climbed the ranks again, moving from FireFighter to Division Chief.  Throughout his career in the fire service, Richard also took on the roles of fire investigator, hazardous materials team member, and Illinois Fire Service Institute instructor.  In 2005, he volunteered with UFD to go to New Orleans, LA, to help with Hurricane Katrina disaster relief.  He earned a Humanitarian Service Award for this work.

Richard enjoyed traveling (there were several summer family road trips when his kids were younger), hanging out with family and friends, sampling new and unique snack foods, and dining at fun-themed restaurants.  He had a passion for gaming ranging from board games, old fashioned pinball and video games.  There were many fun family game nights.  He enjoyed watching John Wayne movies on lazy Sunday afternoons.  Richard was also an avid reader, with his favorite author being Tom Clancy.

After retiring, Richard spent time as a Champaign-Urbana Elks Lodge #2497 member.  He looked forward to Wednesday dinners enjoying drinks and pizza with friends and family at the lodge.  On Friday afternoons, Richard could be found having lunch downtown at the Esquire.  He also enjoyed driving and showing off his dream car, a Ford Mustang.

Richard was predeceased by his parents, Bill and Peggy Rotramel.   He is survived by his ex-wife, Noreen Rotramel; his children, Liz (Rashad) Archey; Chris (Ann Hubert) Rotramel; and Colin Rotramel; his brother, David (Allyson) Rotramel; and many beloved nieces and nephews.

Private family services will be held on Saturday, November 20.

In place of flowers, please consider a donation to Hands for Heroes, a local organization founded by veterans and active military personnel with an unstoppable passion and focus on helping veterans, first responders, and their families in need.  Donations can be sent by Venmo (@Hands_for_Heroes) or by PayPal (handsforheroesillinois@gmail.com).

 

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