Roger L. Veatch

Roger L. Veatch, 90, a former Oak Park resident, died on June 10, 2014 at Thomasville, North Carolina, his home for the past 15 years. Born on July 16, 1923 in Chicago to Roy and Mabel (Meyer) Veatch, he was raised on Mapleton Avenue in Oak Park, graduating from Hatch School, and then Oak Park and River Forest High School in 1941. He had a newspaper route as a youth and frequently identified the house on Ridgeland Avenue where a customer tipped him $20 on Christmas Eve in the 1930s for delivering her Chicago Tribune daily. 

He met his wife of 69 years, Margery Ann Jones, at a dance hosted by First United Methodist Church, where they were married in 1945. That same year Roger was inducted into the U.S. Army at his local draft board, now Dole Library, and served on the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, New Mexico. He and his fellow scientists worked nights and drove 10 miles into the desert to the laboratory because the Army brass did not want them to blow up the base with their experiments. After the war, he finished his master’s degree in biochemistry at the Illinois Institute of Technology and worked at Hines VA Medical Center in nuclear medicine for 30 years. 

After his retirement, the Veatches lived in Oak Park for about 13 years. They were active at First United Church and in the Community Renewal Chorus. He was known for his kind, friendly demeanor. Into his 70s, he was still delivering Meals on Wheels to “seniors” in the village. In 1998, they retired to North Carolina, where they have been active members of Congregational UCC, in Greensboro.

Roger Veatch was preceded in death by his daughter-in-law Alanna Connors; his brother, David; and his brother-in-law, Edwin Bast. He is survived by his wife, his sister-in-law Mariam Veatch of Northbrook; his sister, Anita Bast; his children, Kathryn (William) Ksander, Elizabeth Hopkins, Margaret Veatch, and Phillip Veatch; his four grandchildren, Wendy Smith, Peter Ksander (Miranda Hardy), David Ksander (Natalie Ruttan-Stack) and Roy Veatch; and one great granddaughter. 

Services will be held on July 6 in Thomasville. In lieu of flowers, memorials are appreciated to Congregational UCC or to Interfaith House, 3456 W. Franklin Blvd., Chicago, IL 60624.

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