[gn_heading style=”1″]Roger Leigh Seamans[/gn_heading]
Roger Leigh Seamans, 87 of Billings, passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011.
Roger was born on the outskirts of Lime Ridge, Wisconsin, in a rural village in Sauk County to Walter and Veva Seamans nee Daniels. His maternal grandparents lived across the road from his birthplace. The family moved five miles east and lived in a small house next to a farm where the Warren family lived, and they became an extended family for Roger and his parents. The family then moved into Reedsburg, Wisconsin, known for its Woolen Mill and The Dolly Madison Ice Cream Factory.
He attended The United Brethren Church, where his mother sang in the choir. When he was 13, the family moved to Westport, Wisconsin, located outside of Madison, and he completed his elementary education at a one-room school called Catfish School. He received his high school diploma from Waunakee Union Free High School. He played the slide trombone and competed at a Regional Music Festival along with two classmates, and they won the Tri-County Competition. Roger got his first car at age 16. It was a real beauty: A black Model A Ford Cabriolet with a soft top and a rumble seat, and had twin spares, one on each fender. He had a lot of fun with this car and frequently drove his mother to The Congregational Church in Windsor, Wisconsin to attend services.
After graduation, he went to work for Hansen’s Milk Service, driving a semi-tanker truck hauling milk locally in Wisconsin from milk depots to processing plants. He married Helen Schoten in 1942 and they divorced in 1945. In late 1942 and early ’43, he worked at Oscar Mayer Meat Packing Plant in Madison before he was inducted into the U.S. Navy and went to Farragut, Idaho, on Lake Pend Oreille for submarine training. They never touched bottom in the lake at 900 feet. He received an honorable discharge from the Navy. He returned to Hansen’s Milk Service, working for Al Hansen, hauling to many cities outside the state of Wisconsin. In 1947, Roger went to work for a truck broker, hauling petroleum transport products until early 1948; the Petroleum Transport Company was owned by Dawes & Newton. He then went to work for Northland Greyhound, Inc., out of Madison. In 1952, he transferred to Billings and drove out of that area for most of his career, except for two and a half years when he worked out of Fargo, N.D.
In December of 1955, he married Patricia Wheeler and they lived in Columbus for the first nine years of their married life, and then they moved to Fargo. In 1957, he adopted Patty’s son, Sammy. In 1984, they moved to the Duck Creek area on the outskirts of Billings. He retired driving bus on July 31, 1986. Roger and Patty were avid poodle people. They raised and bred poodles and showed them at shows around the U.S. and supported many animal shelters. Patty became seriously ill in 2001 and Roger was her caregiver until her death just four days short of their 50th wedding anniversary. His two constant companions were “Murphy” and “Dazzle,” two of the dogs left from a long line.
Roger was predeceased by his parents, Walter and Veva; sons Roger L. Jr. and Sammy; a brother, Melvin; and a nephew, Gary.
Survivors are son John Vernon (Vicki), Glendale, Ariz.; sister Mary P. Zemel (Norman), Malibu, Calif.; sister-in-law Tetyanna Seamans, Janesville, Wis.; nephew Jeffrey (Jill Bender); nieces Susan Seamans Galetka (Sean Schmidt), Stacey Seamans Hoon (Adam), Oleysha McCabe (David), Madison, Wis.; great-niece Kristin Schmitt (great-great-nephew Xavier), Windsor, Wis.; grandsons John Seamans, Stoughton, Wis., Chris Seamans (Mary), Peoria, Ariz., Jason Seamans, Anaheim, Calif., Roger L. III (Lisa), Westminster, Calif., and Paul Seamans, Oregon, Wis.; granddaughter Tina, Glendale, Ariz.; great-grandchildren Jordan and Kelsey, Stoughton, Wis., Tommy Seamans, Peoria, Ariz., Emma Seamans, Santa Ana, Calif., Presley and Harper Seamans, Westminster, Calif., and great granddaughter Savannah Seamans, Stoughton, Wis.; cousin Carolyn Kluin (Robert), Stanwood, Wash., Margaret Jantz, Baraboo, Wis.; and several second cousins.
Always a car nut and very mechanical minded, Roger never met a stranger and could converse with anyone, no matter what their profession. Witty and sharp, he could imitate voices and was always entertaining people while doing Donald Duck. He enjoyed singing Barbershop. A true friend, he mentored many people in his lifetime.
Roger’s family would like to thank Vance Kaufman, Heather Bales, Joyce Lechlinski of Riverstone Hospice and to the entire staff of Bonaventure of Billings.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 12, at First United Methodist Church, with interment in Sunset Memorial Gardens.
Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, 2800 4th Ave N, Billings, MT 59101, the Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter, 1735 Monad Rd Billings, MT 59102, or the charity of your choice