Roger Monroe

September 27, 1933 - December 30, 2015
Schoolcraft, MI



Saturday, January 30, 2016
2:00 PM to 6:00 PM EST
Local 357 Plumbers and Pipefitters Union Hall
11847 Shaver Road
Schoolcraft, MI 49087


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Special Olympics Area 16
WMU, 4024 Student Recreation Center
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 387-2718
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Heirloom Rose
407 S. Grand St.
Schoolcraft, MI 49087
(269) 679-3010
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Truly one to enjoy a party, Roger Monroe enjoyed sharing the company of his family and good friends. Quite a character, he was outgoing, tough, and extremely fair and honorable man. Although he was a pretty forthright type of man and his strong willed nature made him a force to be reckoned with at times, Roger was a hard worker who struggled to find balance in his life. He played just as hard as he worked, and enjoyed it all along the way.

Born on September 7, 1933 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Roger was one of four children and the only son of Harry and Louise (Cooper) Monroe. While the nation struggled through the worst year of the Great Depression, the year 1933 saw an unprecedented U.S. jobless rate of over 15 million. At the same time, great strides were being made in the culture of America as Radio City Music Hall opened and The Ranger, the first U.S. aircraft carrier, was launched. FDR held his first “Fireside Chat” to boost the spirits of Americans while a thirst for entertainment was a welcome deviation from hard economic times.

Roger grew up on the east side of Kalamazoo alongside his sister, Joyce. Then later on he acquired two more sisters: Sharon and Beth. He attended Roosevelt School, a one room schoolhouse which stands to this day. Even as a youngster Roger found his share of mischief and adventure. He paled around with neighborhood and school friends enjoying all that boyhood had to offer.

During high school, Roger made money as a pool hustler at the Old Burdick Hotel where he set pins. He went on to graduate from Kalamazoo Central High School with the Class of 1951.

Married for a time, Roger soon became the proud father of four delightful daughters, Julie, Sue, Janet, and Sandy. Always a hard worker, right out of high school he began working at American Tool where he worked for many years. During his time there, Roger was at one time Chairman of the American Tool Company employee committee, a position he held proudly. It was also while working at American Tool when Roger and his father began a small business venture of their own. He mainly worked there in the evenings and on the weekends, but despite their best efforts, the business did not succeed.

Eventually, Roger and two partners started up a tool and die shop in the early 1960s in Kalamazoo. They later moved the business to the Schoolcraft area, calling it Maro Inc., a name derived from the letters of each partner’s last name. In time, Roger was able to buy out his two partners and became sole owner of the company. Over the years the business did exceedingly well and kept growing and expanding. A true leader, Roger expanded and grew the business within the community. In fact, it became known for its annual smelt fry’s, chili and card parties along with many other activities. The employees and numerous people in the community of Schoolcraft truly enjoyed the company’s events through the years and always looked forward to these times.

His second wife Mary, met Roger when she begun working for him in 1966. Through the years they were blessed with three more daughters, Stephanie, Joely, and Sheri and eventually were married on November 24, 1973. Through the years, Roger and his family enjoyed spending memorable and quality time at the lake.

Roger who never had much free time, took advantage of his long lunches at Bud's Bar to connect with employees and catch up with anyone who stopped in. Roger also loved to fish, hunt, and play golf, but his greatest passion was flying. Over the years he owned two different airplanes. One was the 47 Papa, and the second was none other than the 92 Whiskey. Unfortunately, as the years went by Roger had to give up flying due to his poor eyesight. He so loved flying with the open sky before him and truly missed it. In addition to his work and involvement within his community, Roger also served on the board of directors of the Kalamazoo County State Bank until 1990.

Roger enjoyed life fully and completely at every opportunity. He never hesitated in conveying his opinions, and he surely knew how to stand his ground. To know Roger was to beware of Roger. You only felt you were a valuable employee if you were fired at least once a year. He was a hard working man who enjoyed all that life had to offer. For those who knew him best, Roger will be deeply missed and fondly remembered.

Roger Monroe, of Schoolcraft passed away on Wednesday, December 30, 2015 at the age of 82. He is survived by his wife, Mary and seven daughters. His first four daughters were from a previous marriage: Julie Barton, Sue (Ken) Taft, Janet Monroe, Sandy (Ed) Ruskowski; and Stephanie (Rusty) Rice, Joely (Don) Henderson, Sheri Monroe; his two sisters: Beth Monroe and Joyce Scott. He has also been blessed with 16 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren with one more on the way. Roger was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Sharon.

A Celebration of Life Service Party will be held on Saturday, January 30, 2016 from 2-6 pm at the Local 357 Plumbers and Pipefitters Union Hall, 11847 Shaver Road, Schoolcraft, MI 49087.

Please visit Roger’s webpage at www.lifestorynet.com where you can sign his online guestbook, share a memory and/or photo. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Kalamazoo County Special Olympics and/or Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan