Jan 1st 1999 - May 9th 2012
Passed away Wednesday, May 9, 2012, in Battle Creek at the age of 84 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. Messages of condolence may be left at www.WinkelFuneralHome.com.