AMerican Veteran 11

Roger Wesley Utter

October 4, 1937 ~ March 24, 2021 (age 83)

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Roger Wesley Utter "Poppy", 83, of Thomasville, NC, went to be with Jesus on March 24, 2021 surrounded by his close family,  after a battle with Multiple Myeloma.


Roger was born October 4, 1937 to Emerson "Swartz" and Ruth (Baker) Utter of  Hammondsport, NY.  He is big brother to 9 brothers and sisters.  After graduating from Hammondsport Central School in 1955, he went into the Navy where he served for 4 years and studied structural drafting and worked in the engine room of the LST 1167, USS Westchester County.


After discharge, he was a draftsman for American Bridge in Elmira, NY for 18 years and Triad Steel in Thomasville, NC for 18 years.


In 1961, he met his beloved Barbara, and they wed in 1965, going on to have 4 children, 6 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.


"Poppy" was a force of nature, determined to provide for his family and give them the life he felt they deserved. His family meant more to him than anything else in the world, something he often mentioned. He was unendingly proud of Leslie, Jeanne, Jennifer and Roger and always tried his best to support them. 


Roger was also a passionate car enthusiast, particularly Oldsmobiles.  He was a member of the Oldsmobile Club of America.  He could often be found in the garage or at the race track when he wasn’t at home.  He enjoyed attending sporting events that involved his babies and telling stories of home, the good old days and being aboard his LST while in the Navy.  He was also a member of Unity United Methodist Church.


Anyone who knew "Poppy" knew that he was the most loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle a family could ask for.  He was predeceased by his parents, Emerson "Swartz" and Ruth (Baker) Utter and his baby sister Cheryl Utter. He is survived by his wife, Barbara (Norton), daughters, Leslie Rowland, Jeanne (Gary) Leonard, and Jennifer Morgan and son, Roger W. Utter II,   grandchildren/grandchildren-in-love, Elissa & Scottie, Chris, Brandon & Harlie, Amanda & Wayne, Daniel & Brooke and Mackenzie, and 8 great-grandchildren, Rilee, Wesley, Taylor, Alayna, Bryden, Kais, Waylon and baby Leonard, 9 brothers and sister and many nieces and nephews.   His love and compassion will be taught to those that are yet to come that did not have the chance to be held in his arms.


The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to Disabled American Veterans. There will be a celebration of life Sunday, March 28 at 3:00 pm at Free Life Assembly of God, 369 Pilgrims Trail, Thomasville, NC officiated by Rev. De Hillyer. The service will also be streamed live for those too far away or unable to attend. 


Many thanks to Jay Payne and JC Green and Sons Funeral Home for everything.


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