Roger I. Uhe

Born: Mon., Apr. 29, 1940
Died: Thu., Mar. 18, 2021


Celebration of Life to be held at a later date


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Music by The Piano Brothers


Roger Irvin Uhe of Pittsfield, IL  passed away on March 18, 2021, at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Illinois, at the age of 80.  Roger was born on April 29, 1940, in Freeport, Illinois, to Irvin William and Ethel (Huneke) Uhe, and raised on their family farm near Lena, Illinois.

After flourishing athletically at Lena-Winslow High school, Roger attended Murray State University on a basketball scholarship.  He transferred to Western Illinois University in 1959 and was a key member of the Leathernecks basketball team, graduating in 1963.  Roger married Virginia Dodds in 1961 and subsequently moved to Oregon, Illinois.  In Oregon, Roger taught business education courses at the high school, and served as an assistant and then varsity head basketball coach for over 10 years.  Also, while in Oregon, Roger obtained a master’s degree in education from Northern Illinois University in 1967.

In his free time at Oregon, Roger continued playing basketball and fast-pitch softball in travel leagues.  In those years, members of the Chicago Bears football team would barnstorm around the Midwest during their off-season, playing in the same travel basketball leagues, and Roger played against them as a member of the Rockford Majors.  Another highlight with the Majors was playing two games against the Harlem Globetrotters.

Beginning in 1975, Roger was a business teacher and spent two seasons as the varsity head basketball coach at Jacksonville High School, in Jacksonville, Illinois.  Roger married Martha Jean Shulman in 1977.

Roger and Jean moved to Jean’s hometown of Pittsfield in 1980.  During this time, Roger began his career at the Illinois State Board of Education until his retirement in 2007.  In Pittsfield, Roger enjoyed the camaraderie of many friends at Old Orchard Country Club.  His favorite pastime over the years, however, was enjoying the many family gatherings in Pittsfield at the Shulman residence, where laughter and good times were a constant.

His more recent passions included avidly following politics and watching his favorite sports teams, including the Chicago Cubs, University of Illinois basketball, and the Pittsfield Saukees.  Roger also reveled in the accomplishments of his five grandchildren.  

Throughout his life, Roger had a gift of making all who he encountered feel special.  He bestowed those he knew with loving nicknames.  Roger was an incredible coach, both in sports to his players, and in life to those who sought his advice.  Roger had an infectious laugh that often ended with him in tears (the good kind).  He was immensely loved by his family and will leave an incredible void.

Survivors include his wife Martha Jean Uhe of Pittsfield, Illinois, his three children Robert (Gretchen) Uhe of Springfield, Brian Uhe of Pittsfield, and Molly (Chris) Uhe-Edmonds of Chatham, Illinois, his sister Marian Burkhard of Boise, Idaho, and several nieces and nephews.  Surviving grandchildren are Ingrid Uhe, Liesel Uhe, Roger J. Uhe, Jack Kosbab, and Charlie Kosbab.  

Roger was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Eugene “Gene” Uhe.

A private celebration of life for the family and invited guests will be scheduled for a date later in the year. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to the Pikeland Public Schools Foundation, P.O. Box 89, Pittsfield, IL 62363 www.pikelandfoundation.org. Online condolences may be left to the family at www.nieburfh.com. Niebur Funeral Home in Pittsfield is handling the arrangements.

Charitable donations may be made in Roger 's memory to the following organization:

Pikeland Public Schools Foundation

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