Roger Spohn, 89
(August 25, 1931—May 7, 2021)
US Air Force veteran
Roger Spohn, 89, of Barnegat, and formerly of Skillman, died peacefully on May 7 surrounded by his loving family.
Roger was born on August 25, 1931 in Newton, Iowa to Vernon and Lorene (Kling) Spohn and grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He graduated from Franklin High School in 1949 and went on to attend the University of Iowa, graduating in 1953 with a business degree as well as a commissioned 2nd Lt in the US Air Force. His beloved Hawkeyes remained his favorite sporting teams to watch, and he was a proud Phi Gamma Delta brother.
After college, he was stationed at a Royal Air Force Base in England serving his time as a supply officer. When not working on supply logistics, he could be found on the nearby golf links. He was honorably discharged on May 28, 1955, which ironically was the same day his future wife Darlene, graduated high school.
After the service, he moved to Chicago, Illinois to pursue a career with IBM as a systems engineer; manager and communications industry specialist/strategist, retiring in 1992 after 36 years of employment. It was in Chicago where he met and subsequently married his loving wife of 61 years, Darlene, and where their three children were born. I
n 1969, IBM transferred the family to Skillman. During this time, he was involved in many activities including serving on the Montgomery Recreation Department for many years and as president of the Montgomery Baseball League from 1976 to 1977. Back then, he and a couple of other dads would bring their own lawn mowers to cut Kammler Field prior to games!
Roger also enjoyed coaching Little League Baseball and Little Lads Basketball teams, and enjoyed watching his son Steve excel on the soccer fields and basketball courts in high school. Later in life he attended the many dance recitals of his granddaughter, Abigail, and both granddaughters’ college graduations. His grandson Michael fondly recalls playing ping pong with grandpa, just one of too many wonderful memories to name.
Roger was an exceptional instructor and provided welcome advice and tips for all. He especially enjoyed teaching his children and grandchildren the game of golf.
Roger’s favorite pastime was golf and he was an avid lifelong golfer. As a youth he would caddy at the Cedar Rapids Country Club in the summer and sled down their rolling hills in the winter. He was a past member of Pike Brook Country Club, Princeton Meadows Country Club, and Cherry Valley Country Club. Later in life he joined his son Bill and granddaughter Hillary for many rounds at Springdale Golf Club. He especially loved his golf dates with Hillary—nine holes followed by lunch.
A lifelong poet, his friends and family will always remember his special talent for writing poems for every occasion including holidays and birthdays or just random thoughts. His reading of his poems was always the highlight of each holiday, or any family get-together.
In recent years, Roger and Darlene moved to Barnegat and enjoyed life at the Jersey Shore, a move which happily brought them near his daughter Wendy, grandchild, and great-grandchild; and created many more cherished memories. All will agree that Roger was the most kind, patient and loving dad any kid and grandkid could hope to have and he will be dearly missed.
Roger is survived by his beloved wife of 61 years, Darlene (Lineback) Spohn; one sister, Janice Hollowell of Memphis, TN; one daughter, Wendy and her husband Michael Gaetano of Manahawkin; two sons: Bill and his wife Carolyn of Skillman, and Steve and his girlfriend Marcia Podsiadlo of Skillman; three grandchildren: Michael Johnsen, Abigail Spohn, and Hillary Spohn; and one great-grandchild, Angelo Johnsen.
He is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews who also will miss him dearly.
Roger was predeceased by his parents Vernon and Lorene Spohn and his sister Polly Fontana.
A private celebration of life memorial will be held this summer.