Roger Edwin Plaxton of Saskatoon passed away peacefully in the early hours of July 24th, 2023 in St. Paul’s Hospital. He had recently celebrated his 83rd birthday.
Roger is survived by his wife of 65 years, Marlene (nee Schmidt), four children: Boyd (Michelle), Lori Pellegrini (Perry), Elaine Schumacher and Todd, 13 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren, as well as by his sister, Pamela Hopkins, and his brother, Leonard Jr. (Judy). He was predeceased by his parents, Leonard and Eva Plaxton, and his infant son, James Elliot, in 1961.
Roger was born in Regina on July 17, 1940, the third child of Leonard and Eva Plaxton of Regina Beach, SK. He grew up in Regina Beach, attending Regina Beach School and playing fastball and hockey. He started working at a young age in his father’s businesses, a full service automotive garage and, as reliable electricity was brought to Regina Beach, in power line construction, and at Plaxton’s Electric.
In 1957, he met Marlene Schmidt of Lumsden, who was working as a telephone operator. They were married on April 26, 1958. During the early years of their marriage, Roger worked in Regina delivering milk in a horse-drawn milk wagon, and later for Safeway.
After leaving Safeway, Roger began a career in sales that would be nearly life-long. He worked for Dad’s Cookies, Hartz Mountain, and Diversey Canada, before joining McCain Foods and moving his family to Saskatoon in 1971. He stayed with McCain’s from 1971 to 1983 when, with two partners, he started Prairie Brokers, an independent food and beverage supply company, where he worked until his retirement in the late 1990’s.
Roger and Marlene raised their four children, Boyd, Lori, Elaine and Todd with a love of sports and Roger spent the Saskatoon years coaching and officiating in both hockey and baseball. He is fondly remembered for his on-ice “critique” of players on both sides. 1972 kicked off Roger and Marlene’s enjoyment of camping as they bought a small tent trailer to follow the Saskatoon Senators on the road to the Canadian championships. Roger and Marlene truly enjoyed camping with their children and travelling to visit relatives. They went on to upgrade their equipment through the years and continued to follow their children to various tournaments. Later, as their 13 grand-children began to arrive, the camper often became a hub of Summer fun.
Roger and Marlene’s retirement years started with a fifth-wheel camper parked at Manitou Beach so they could enjoy the week-end dances on the horsehair dance floor. All through their 65 years of marriage, they enjoyed dancing and could really “shake a shoe”. The evenings would inevitably end with Roger belting out his rendition of “Swing Low Sweet Chariot”.
In 2007 Roger and Marlene moved to Abbotsford, B.C. to escape the Saskatchewan winters and join a retirement community. They returned to Saskatoon for the Summers, staying in the camper at Gordie Howe Campground, catching up with their growing family and visiting friends. Winters often found them “cruising” or visiting down south with Lori and Perry, Todd and Elaine at their Winter getaways.
As Roger’s mobility became an issue, they stayed closer and closer to their home in Abbotsford and when COVID brought worsened mobility and other health issues, Roger and Marlene made the move back to Saskatoon in 2021 to be closer to family. They continued to enjoy visits with their children, grand-children and great-grandchildren, and Roger was able to enjoy those visits up to the time of his death, with family by his side, at 1:45 am on July 24th.
The family would like to thank all of the staff at Primrose Chateau, Royal University Hospital, Saskatoon City Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital, Preston Avenue Care Home, Samaritan Place, and the staff of Saskatoon Home Care for the kindness shown to Dad throughout his last months.
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