Rodger Franklin van den Broek passed away on Friday, September 30, 2016 at the age of 57 while in hospice care at Swedish American of Belvidere surrounded by his loving family. He was born September 17, 1959 in Hilversum, Netherlands the son of Abraham and Juliana (Wens) van den Broek. Rodger was a 1982 graduate of Loyola Marymount University, in California where he played division I baseball as a pitcher. In the fall of 1982, he left sunny California to begin a career in the field of Information Technology, in the Midwest. After only a few weeks on the job he met the love of his life and on June 17, 1984, he married Karen Vesely in Rockford, IL.
Rodger was a wonderful husband and provider whose career spanned 34+ years working for Cybertek, Motorola, Nokia, and Wipro. He amassed many workplace friends throughout the years. He was also an amazing and very dedicated father to his three children. As an outstanding athlete himself, it was so fitting that his children would find a passion for athletics. He took great pride in their accomplishments and never missed one of their events often juggling multiple events in one day.
The Midwest transformed this boy from Cali into a lover of the outdoors. It was no secret to those who knew him that he loved hunting and fishing. Many family outings were spent fishing, often in Wisconsin. He also spent countless hours hunting with his son, Troy who would also develop a love of the outdoors. His passion was so great that he would go on to create ICAW Outdoors, a website which serves as a forum for avid outdoorsman. ICAW boasts of over two hundred members and with the help of his children and its members, continue his legacy.
For the past three years, Rodger fought a very courageous battle against lung cancer. Having been an athlete for most of his life and a non-smoker the cause will forever remain a mystery. During his fight, he was very private about his illness and chose only to share the positives on Facebook and such. Thanks to the amazing team at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Zion, IL, Rodger received cutting edge treatment.
He felt truly blessed to share in so many meaningful moments. He was so proud of his daughter Shannon, who is an ICU nurse and in August 2015, he was overjoyed to walk her down the aisle giving her hand in marriage to Daniel. He gained a son-in-law, but looked upon Daniel more like a son. The Father/Daughter dance was amazing with not a dry eye in the house. Rodger was also able to enjoy watching his son play college baseball and witnessed him hit a three run homer to put his team in the national tournament. He was instrumental in Troy meeting his girlfriend Madison and watching her become a lover of the outdoors. He was so very proud of his daughter Kristi’s many career accomplishments both in broadcast and currently as the Director of Communications at Immanuel Lutheran. But most importantly, he valued that she is such an amazing mother to her son Weston. Weston was such a source of joy to his “Gunk Gunk” and often sat with him asking how he felt and if he could rub his back. During his ongoing fight, he and his family also enjoyed meaningful getaways to Wolf Lake with his friend of 34 years and “Best Man” Morry.
Rodger’s whole family gathered in Galena, IL this past summer to share an amazing five days together at Eagle Ridge. We fished, golfed, laughed, and even went zip lining. Most importantly, we made memories. In addition, to his immediate family, his parents, sisters and their families were able to join in the reunion. He was so very grateful to have that time together in addition to their constant love and support whether it was making him laugh, rubbing his back, or offering prayers, his mother being his greatest prayer warrior.
Rodger was a faithful member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Belvidere where he found comfort in his friends and fellow church members. He sought his spiritual guidance along this journey from his friend and Pastor, Allan Buss. Having lived in Belvidere for close to 30 years, he felt the love and support that comes from living in a small town.
He is loved and will be forever missed by his wife, Karen; children: Shannon (Daniel) Owens, Troy (Madison O’Hern) van den Broek; Kristine van den Broek, grandson, Weston van den Broek; parents, Abraham and Juliana van den Broek; sisters, Debbie (Chris) Olivier and Lisa (Matt) Jackson; and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his mother-in-law, Nevii Vesely, and paternal grandparents.
Funeral Service will be held at 12:30 p.m., Saturday, October 8, 2016 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1045 Belvidere Road, Belvidere, IL 61008 with Rev. Allan Buss officiating. A visitation will be held from 4:00-8:00 p.m., Friday, October 7, 2016 at the church. Burial in Shattuck Grove Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the family. To light a candle or share a condolence, please visit www.AndersonFCS.com.
Date: Friday, October 7, 2016
Time: 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
A visitation will be held from 4:00-8:00 p.m., Friday, October 7, 2016 at the church.
Date: Saturday, October 8, 2016
Time: 12:30 pm -
Funeral Service will be held at 12:30 p.m., Saturday, October 8, 2016 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1045 Belvidere Road, Belvidere, IL 61008 with Rev. Allan Buss officiating.
Date: Saturday, October 8, 2016
Shattuck's Grove Cemetery
Address:9600 Reeds Crossing , Belvidere, IL, 61008
Burial will be in Shattuck’s Grove Cemetery
Memorials may be to the family