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Roger Grace

March 20, 1947 -
April 3, 2019

Roger Douglas Grace, a man of discernment and quiet faith, passed away at home Wednesday evening, April 3, 2019. Services will be at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, April 13, 2019 at Morgan Memorial Home, Savoy with Pastor Bill Meier officiating.
Roger was born on March 20, 1947 at Burnham City Hospital, Champaign the son of …read more

Roger Douglas Grace, a man of discernment and quiet faith, passed away at home Wednesday evening, April 3, 2019. Services will be at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, April 13, 2019 at Morgan Memorial Home, Savoy with Pastor Bill Meier officiating.
Roger was born on March 20, 1947 at Burnham City Hospital, Champaign the son of Lyle and Betty (Shade) Grace. He married Janis “Jan” Meister on September 4, 1982 in Springfield.
Roger is survived by his wife, Jan; daughter Erin and her husband Jason Watson of Villa Grove; daughter Katherine and her husband Manuel Chavez of Chicago; and son Stephen who is now the 6th generation operating the family farm. Roger adored his grandchildren, Carolina Grace Chavez and Greyson Roger Watson and was looking forward to the birth of his third grandchild in May. Also surviving is his sister, Barbara (David) Wilson of Bloomington; brother David of Sidney; and 3 nephews, Tim Grace, Andy Grace, and Eric Wilson. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his brother Gary (Sue).
Roger graduated with a B. S. in agricultural economics in 1969 and began working for the Illinois Department of Agriculture in the division of markets. During the oil embargo and fuel shortage of 1973 -1974 he worked for the Illinois Energy Office. Roger was charged with allocating fuel to farmers and agribusiness suppliers needed to run their business and continue production. Roger met Jan while she was interning at the Illinois Energy Office during the oil embargo.
Roger began working as a legislative aide to Congressman Ed Madigan and moved to Washington D.C. He became a staff member on the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture.
Roger returned to the community to be part of his family’s farming business, the 5th generation. He enjoyed studying history and thought the continuity of a family farm is part of that. In finding stone tools on their farm that were left behind by past inhabitants, some dating back 400-8000 years, he was reminded that we are only short term users of the land. He realized and lived the importance of sustaining the land as well as sustaining an economically viable business for future generations. The legacy of family farming was one reason Roger felt a desire and purpose to help improve agriculture at both the state and national level.
Roger served on the Board of Illini FS; was a Trustee on the Board of Country Mutual Funds Trust; past director and legislative co-chair of the Champaign County Farm Bureau; member of Illinois Corn Growers and Land of Lincoln Soybean Association; member of the Alpha Gamma Rho chapter at SIU; and served on the leadership board of Twin City Bible Church. He was named a News Gazette Farm Leader in 2000.
He taught his family how to cast a reel; best places to view an eclipse; where to find the best local restaurants in any city or any country; the importance of studying cultural history; and how to grow the best sweet corn. He holds the secret to finding artifacts on the farm.
Since March of 2017 he confronted glioblastoma with dignity, courage, and grace.
Memorial contributions may be made in Roger’s name to Samaritan’s Purse (PO Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607); Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute,251 Huron, Chicago 60611; or Champaign County Young Life-YoungLives (PO Box 8291 Champaign 61826).
Following the April 13 service an informal reception with the family will be at Stone Creek Center, Urbana, from noon until 2:00 p.m.

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