Roger Derwae

Roger A. Derwae

Wednesday, September 16th, 1931 - Friday, April 9th, 2021
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Roger Derwae, age 89, of Kenosha, died April 9th, 2021. He was born September 16th, 1931 to Leah Gerber and Floyd Derwae. It was the Great Depression, and he grew up with his five siblings causing neighborhood shenanigans and working at an early age. They lived on very little, and from this childhood he learned the joys of simple food and the value of hard work.

Roger dreamt of joining the Marines at a young age, saving up his coins to buy the record of the Marine Corp Hymn, only to accidentally sit on it on the bus, break it, and save money to buy a new one to cherish for years later. He left high school early to fulfill his dream of becoming a Marine, but he was denied admittance and joined the Army instead. Roger served as a border guard in Trieste, Italy at the end of World War II. He later decided to try something new and enlisted in the Air Force, but his sights were always on the Marines. He was finally allowed to join through a loophole in the Reserves and served time in Okinawa, Japan and Washington DC. He retired from the military after 30 years of service.

Before leaving for Marine boot camp, he stole a dance with a woman and fell instantly in love. After weeks of writing to each other, he shared his first kiss with Evelyn Majerko on their wedding day in Las Vegas. They only had enough money to split a bologna sandwich and hitchhike back to the military base. They were the loves of each otherโ€™s lives and were married for 53 years until Evelyn passed away in 2007.

Roger enjoyed his second career at Snap On Tools, retiring after 20 years. He spent his remaining years enjoying simple pleasures: sitting on the deck telling stories with friends and family, his favorite meal of a hot dog and baked beans (which he preferred over a steak dinner any day), or a day trip somewhere. He earned his honorary high school diploma in 2014 at age 83.

He is preceded in death by Evelyn and their first daughter Karen Steckbauer and his five siblings. He is survived by his daughter Kristine Derwae (Lisa Caraballo); granddaughters Kelli (Joseph) Sheehan and Kari (John) Morey; and great granddaughters Hannah, Arya, and Tennyson. He is also survived by his four-legged companion Aussie.

Roger taught those around him to work hard for what you want, to share your blessings with others but also let them struggle, to make friends with those around you, and to eat the cake.

A visitation will be held on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, at Proko Funeral Home from 9:00 a.m. until the time of service at 11:00 a.m. Interment to follow at St. George Cemetery with military honors.

In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to the Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin at
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, April 13th, 2021 | 9:00am - 11:00am
    Tuesday, April 13th, 2021 9:00am - 11:00am
    Proko Funeral Home & Crematory
    5111 60th Street
    Kenosha, WI 53144
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Tuesday, April 13th, 2021 | 11:00am
    Tuesday, April 13th, 2021 11:00am
    Proko Funeral Home & Crematory
    5111 60th Street
    Kenosha, WI 53144
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Colleen Vice
  • Interment

    Friday, April 9th, 2021 | 12:00pm
    Friday, April 9th, 2021 12:00pm
    St. George Cemetery
    2909 Sheridan Road
    KENOSHA, WI 53140
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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1 tree has been planted in memory of Roger A. Derwae

David Lauer

Posted at 10:17am
My walking to work buddy. Oh, the in depth conversations we had during those several-block-long walks to Snap-on. Rest in peace, Sarge.

Lori Veh

Posted at 10:12am
We send our deepest condolences Kris ...So sorry for your loss of your father.
We apologize for missing his service - we were out of town.

Love and prayers,
Steve and Lori Veh

Amy Derwae

Posted at 12:27am
This world is a better place because you were here, Uncle Roger. Love & comfort to all... and may your spirit and love remain with us for always.
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Roger Derwae — Plant a Tree Now

John Fox

Posted at 09:24am
My deepest condolences Kristine and family. Roger was one of the kindest Gentleman I have ever encountered. Fond memories of Roger will live on in the hearts of people who crossed his path. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’•

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