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Roger W. Conner

August 23, 1936 May 22, 2021
Roger W. Conner
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Obituary for Roger W. Conner

Longtime Oak Park resident, Roger William Conner died in his home on May 22 at age 84 due to complications from Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), a rare degenerative neurological condition. The only child of Grace and William Conner, Roger was born and raised in Evanston, where he later attended Northwestern University, earned his bachelor’s degree in English, and met Marsda (née Mead), who would become his wife of sixty-three years.

After completing his master’s degree at Harvard, Roger went on to teach English as a Second Language at “Loop” City College (now Harold Washington) until he retired. He recognized it as his great good fortune to spend nearly fifty years working at a profession he truly loved, sharing his passion for language, while serving the educational needs of young immigrants to the area from all over the globe.

Though a teacher by trade, Roger remained a lifelong student of the world, pursuing an astonishing range of interests and hobbies. He was an avid photographer, an actor in community productions at the Beverly Arts Center, a singer with the Lyric Opera, a subscriber to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a tech fanatic and founding member of his school’s “Mac Group.” A nature enthusiast, he spent summers camping in Colorado in his early years, biking along Salt Creek Trail and frequenting the Morton Arboretum in later life. But more than teacher or scholar, actor or audiophile, cyclist or outdoorsman, Roger was first and foremost a devoted father with a ready sense of humor, and he will be remembered as such by his five surviving children. He and Marsda were utterly committed to their family, and their tireless generosity and selfless support over the decades was an abiding gift that the lucky recipients can only endeavor to pay forward.

Roger was predeceased by his wife, two sons, and one granddaughter. His life was celebrated with a small private memorial at the Morton Arboretum in June and his passing will be formally commemorated with an open service at Ascension Catholic Church in Oak Park on Friday, September 17th at 11:00 a.m.

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Previous Events

Funeral Mass




11:00 AM 9/17/2021 11:00:00 AM
Ascension Church

808 S. East Ave.
Oak Park, IL 60304

Ascension Church
808 S. East Ave. Oak Park 60304 IL
United States

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