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Roy E. Van Fossen

August 3rd, 1934 – November 3rd, 2021

Roy Eugene Van Fossen passed away on Wednesday, November 3, 2021 at Grand View Memory Care in Peoria, IL. He was born on August 3, 1934 in Ipava, IL, to Clyde Van Fossen and Christina Van Fossen Shaw. He married Mary Irene Vinson in Peoria, IL on August 19, 1960, along with Irene’s four young children. Roy adopted all four children and they were truly his children.

Roy was preceded in death by his parents, brother Philip Van Fossen and oldest child, Donna Cochran. He is survived by his wife, Irene, and children Bonita (and Chris) Dietrich of Peoria, Illinois, Greg Van Fossen of Fishers, Indiana and Mike Van Fossen of Pekin, Illinois. Roy also considered their foreign exchange student, Saul Cardenas, Costa Rica, as one of his sons and he survives in Costa Rica. Also surviving are his grandchildren Rhonda Skelton, Matthew Cochran, Jared Cochran, Tim Cochran, Karen (and John) Eggers, David (and Myranda) Dietrich, Crystal (and Joe) Mahoney, Dustin (and Angie) Dietrich, Stephanie (Juandale) Cook, Danine (and Kevin) Alston, Eugene (and Sheila) Van Fossen, Sherry Van Fossen, Michael (and Felicia) Van Fossen, Jeremy (and Ashley) Van Fossen, and Ryan Van Fossen. Also surviving are 35 great-grandchildren, 7 great-great-grandchildren, his aunt, Pauline Brown, cousin Kay Brown and her son Brett Brown.

Roy grew up in Ipava, Illinois and graduated from VIT High School. He enjoyed spending much time on his Grandma and Grandpa Carroll’s farm in Ipava as he was growing up.

Roy started his career at Caterpillar after high school and took time out to serve in the Korean Conflict with the US Army from 1954 until 1956, when he received an honorable discharge. He continued his education while working at Caterpillar receiving an Associate’s Degree from Illinois Central College. At Caterpillar he moved up the ladder from the apprentice program to management, retiring in 1986.

Roy and Irene spent time between Lake Vermillion, Minnesota in the summer and Victoria, Texas in the winter for many years. They enjoyed their cabin at Polley’s Resort on Lake Vermillion where many fish were caught. Memories were made as their children and grandchildren spent vacations with them in both locations. Everyone learned to fish and most have a fish story or two to tell.

During his retirement, Roy attained his dream job of teaching in Victoria, Texas schools where he was a substitute teacher of many subjects. He enjoyed mentoring several students. Roy also volunteered at the Community Action Center in Victoria, serving as their computer expert.

Roy was a lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan and took great joy in wearing his Cardinals hat to antagonize Chicago Cubs fans. All in good fun, he would tell a Cubs fan that “You can stay but the Cubs hat will have to go”. People who knew him loved to interact with Roy and enjoyed his quick comebacks about their teams.

Roy loved fishing, collecting pottery, hiking in the woods, crossword and jigsaw puzzles. He always had a jigsaw puzzle on the table awaiting completion. Most of all, he loved his wife, children and grandchildren. Roy made many memories with them all and will be truly missed.

Cremation rites have been accorded. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 13, 2021 at the Northwoods Community Church, 10700 North Allen Road in Peoria, Illinois at 11:00 a.m. Visitation will take place at the church beginning 1 hour prior to the service. Memorials may be made to the donor’s choice.


November 4th, 2021

Our prayers and condolences for all the VanFossen family. Roy and family were our good neighbors for many years, when I was growing up, and we always had great affection for the family.

November 4th, 2021

Our prayers and condolences for all the VanFossen family. Roy and family were our good neighbors for many years, when I was growing up, and we always had great affection for the family. ~Mary Whisler Maxwell and Family

November 4th, 2021

My prayers go out to all the members of Roy’s family. Joyce

November 5th, 2021

November 6th, 2021

Mike, my sympathy in the passing of your father.

November 6th, 2021

Mike, sorry to learn of your father's passing; my sympathy to you and your family. Ken Koch

November 7th, 2021

As the days & weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel the comfort by the love & support of family & friends. We keep you all in our hearts. Mike & Donna

November 8th, 2021

So sorry for your loss-from Roy’s high school classmate. Jim and Judy Wickert

November 11th, 2021

My heart goes out to his family and friends. I remember the VanFossen household as a place of love and laughter.

November 11th, 2021

Bonita….you have lost a gallant and wonderful man. A life well-lived, to be sure. You are in my thoughts and prayers as you face the challenges in the days ahead. Love to you, your brothers and your sweet Momma. ❤️❤️❤️