Roger John Chamlin, 82, of Peru, passed away Wednesday, October 19, 2022. Roger passed peacefully at home surrounded by his loving wife and children. He was grateful, kind and quick witted to the very end.
Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 am Saturday, October 29, 2022 at the First Congregational Church of LaSalle, 502 Joliet Street, LaSalle, IL. Burial will follow in Oakwood Cemetery in LaSalle. Visitation will be Friday, October 28 from 4:00 – 7:00 pm at the Hurst Funeral Home, 650 Fifth Street, LaSalle. Additional visitation will be held from 10:00 am until time of services Saturday at the church.
Mr. Chamlin was born in the Illinois Valley to Casimir and Josephine Chamlin on May 30, 1940. His early childhood was spent in Akron, Ohio where his father, Casey, worked for Goodyear Aircraft Company as an aeronautical engineer designing the Corsair. This experience sparked a lifelong passion for engineering, aircraft and flight.
Mr. Chamlin attended Peru Grade School and LaSalle Peru Township High School where he was Vice-President of the class of ’58 for 4 years and enjoyed playing football and was captain of the track and swimming teams.
After graduating, Mr. Chamlin attended the University of Illinois where he studied architecture for three years and was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity. Transferring to Marquette University, he completed his degree in Civil Engineering. While in college, Mr. Chamlin married the love of his life, Anida Miller, on November 16, 1963 and over the years welcomed four children into their family.
In 1966, after working as an architect in Milwaukee, Roger and his family moved back to Peru where he joined the engineering firm Chamlin & Associates, which was founded by his father in 1952. He served on the Board of Directors and enjoyed a 50 year career with the firm serving local communities as city engineer. The legacy of Mr. Chamlin’s work can be seen throughout the Illinois Valley including the Illinois Valley Regional Airport and the Morris Municipal Airport, Baker Lake Park and countless roads, bridges and other municipal works. Mr. Chamlin took great pride in the City of Peru, its infrastructure, and economic development.
Throughout his professional career, Roger shared his love of engineering and taught classes at St. Bede Academy, receiving the title of Honorary Assistant Professor and sponsored the Junior Engineer Technical Society (JETS). He received the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers, Young Engineer of the Year Award in 1972 and was a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers Political Action Roundtable Group.
During the time his children were enrolled in the Peru Public schools, Mr. Chamlin was elected to the Peru Grade School Board, serving for sixteen years in total with fourteen years as president.
Roger was a member and former Trustee of the First Congregational Church of LaSalle, served as Secretary/Treasurer of the Grove Subdivision Association for many years, was a member of the Board of Directors of the Colonial Bank, Citizens Bank and the Community Board of Heartland Bank. He also served as President of the LaSalle Peru Jaycees and received their Distinguished Service Award.
Mr. Chamlin loved adventure and he and his wife, Anida, were avid travelers and visited all 50 states and all seven continents, including trips to the Middle East, Australia and a trip to Antarctica where they were rescued at sea when their ship ran aground.
A true outdoorsman, Roger loved hunting and fishing and in particular traveling to the Canadian Northwoods, Trout Lake, Ontario. For 50 years, he continued his spring and fall fishing trips to Canada and enjoyed sharing this special place with his children, grandchildren and friends.
Roger’s sense of humor and selfless dedication to others will forever be engrained in those who loved him.
He is survived by his wife, Anida; his sister, Roberta “Birdie” (Dan) Higgins; his children, Julie Chamlin of Chicago, Susan (Bill) Rolander of Lake Forest, Sarah Chamlin of Chicago, and Jon Chamlin of Peru; and his five grandchildren, Amelia, Eleanor, William and Roger Rolander, and Evelyn Chamlin.
Mr. Chamlin was preceded in death by his parents, Casey and Josephine Chamlin; his in-laws, Harold and Irene Miller; and his faithful dog, Thatcher.
Pallbearers will be Gary Gemberling, Thomas Henson, Gerald Hunter, Mike Sitterly, Robert and Joseph Herzog, and William and Roger Rolander.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the family to establish an engineering scholarship in Roger’s name.