Irene Adeline Roggenkamp, age 95 of Brainerd, passed away February 10th at Edgewood Vista Memory Care Baxter. Irene was born November 1, 1927 to Adolph and Florence (Miller) Neisess, in Tintah, MN, the 2nd of 3 daughters. The family moved to Wadena where Mom graduated high school with her older sister, Evelyn, because Mom’s class was so small.
At 17, Mom met the love of her life, Ivan Roggenkamp of Bluffton MN, at one of the many dances they would attend throughout their years together. They married in Wadena 3 years later on February 15th, 1948 in Wadena and were together for 69 years until Dad passed in 2017. They spent almost 60 years in their home on the Mississippi River north of Brainerd, where they raised 4 children – Patricia, David, JoAnn and Timothy. In 1968, on a family vacation, a car accident took the life of JoAnn at the age of 12, and sent Dad to the hospital for severe back injuries.
Mom was a devoted wife and mother. She was a gentle spirit and loved making a home for her family. She enjoyed the family get-togethers where music was always involved. She could not carry a tune in a bucket but she tried! She and Dad loved going to Tim and Cindy’s performances and later on to their music festival. Once we had all started school, Mom worked as bookkeeper for Slipp’s Cycle and later on for over 20 years at Citizens State Bank’s insurance agency. After her and Dad’s retirement, they spent winters in Texas with their ‘jamming’ friends and took many trips with their motorhome.
Mom loved to cook and bake, and passed that on to her children. Although she lived on the river for most of her life, she was not fond of being in the water so she tried to take swimming lessons. She said she gave that up because she floated like a rock.
Mom beat breast cancer twice in her life! In later years, she endured loss of sight due to macular degeneration, and major hearing loss, but she faced all of it with a positive outlook and unwavering Christian faith. Mom and Dad were members of Zion Lutheran Church in Brainerd up until their deaths.
Irene was preceded in death by her parents, husband Ivan, daughter JoAnn and sisters Evelyn Conn and Marlys Farrelly. She is survived by children Patricia (Marty Posthumus) Roggenkamp, Monticello; Dave and Lori Roggenkamp, St. Cloud; Tim and Cindy Roggenkamp, Crosslake; grandchildren Joel (Adam Hess) Roggenkamp; Amy (Justin) Schulz; Kyle (Lisa) Roggenkamp; Jake (Lindsay London)Roggenkamp. 4 great-grandchildren Jack and Emily Roggenkamp, Emmitt Schulz, and Anna Roggenkamp; and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Zion Lutheran Church music fund.
The family would like to thank the staff at Edgewood Vista Baxter for the years of loving care that they gave Mom. We would also like to sincerely thank Good Samaritan Hospice and Essentia St. Joseph Hospital for the care they give to Mom in her final days.
A memorial service will be held at Zion Lutheran Church in Brainerd, Wednesday, February 15th – which would have been Mom and Dad’s 75th wedding anniversary – at 11AM with visitation 1 hour prior to the service and lunch to follow. Interment will be at Evergreen Memorial Gardens. Arrangements are with Brenny Funeral Chapel.