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Roger “Rocky” Rosema



In honor of Rocky, in lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Concussion Legacy Fund. The family welcomes memories and messages in their guest book online at the O’Brien-Eggebeen-Gerst Funeral Home.

Roger “Rocky” Rosema, age 73, a native of Grand Rapids, peacefully passed away in his sleep the morning of January 15, 2020 after suffering concussion residuals. Born on February 5, 1946 in Grand Rapids to William and Lois Rosema. Rocky graduated from Grand Rapids Central High School in 1964 as a competitive athlete. He played football, basketball and ran track. He was recruited by the University of Michigan and played as a defensive end and linebacker from 1965-1968. Rocky attained a degree in biology. The St. Louis Football Cardinals signed Rocky as a fifth-round draft pick and played for the Cards as a linebacker from 1968 to 1971. During his professional football career, Rocky married his wife of 49 years, Darlene Rosema (Reichert). Together they raised two daughters he adored. Rocky was inducted into the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame in 2003. Rocky was best known for his devotion to his family, his quick wit, dry sense of humor, athletic prowess, and his affinity for the University of Michigan. He’ll be greatly missed by his loving family and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, William and Lois Rosema. Rocky is survived by his wife, Darlene “Dar” Rosema, two daughters, Taryn (Jon) Rushman and Kari Rosema, three grandchildren, Nathan and Lydia Rushman and Preston Ratliff and four siblings, Larry (Char) Rosema, Jerry (Penny) Rosema, Robert (Mary) Rosema and Arlene (Scott) Graham.

A Memorial Service celebrating the life of Roger “Rocky” Rosema will be held on Saturday, March 21 at the Porter Hills Village Meeting House, 3600 E Fulton Street, Grand Rapids  MI  49546.  A luncheon will follow the service.



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8 Responses

  1. I always looked up to you when we were kids. Rest In Peace. Your cousin, Midge

  2. So sad and sorry to hear of Rocky’s passing. After reading the obituary, I had a feeling it was something like that. He gave me a fire arm shovel across my head in practice one day. I woke up in the shower after a full practice. It was a pleasure having played along his side at Central.

  3. Rocky and I were schoolmates beginning kindergarten at diamond school and graduating from University of Michigan together in 1968. Heartfelt sorrows to his family for the loss of a talented man.

    Ruth (Jobse) Harris

  4. My husband I had the great good fortune to have Rocky and family as our neighbors when we moved to Grand Rapids two years ago. Although we knew him a comparatively short time, we loved Rocky. And our friendship with his family will continue. Rocky was a solid, dear presence, always ready to help his neighbors, with a quiet sense of humor, a gift for the right, wry remark, and always a twinkle in his eye as he considered the world–and most especially, when he talked about his family. We were lucky to know him; we continue to be lucky to know his wonderful family. We miss him.

  5. I will always remember his piercing blue eyes, they could either send a chill or a warm welcome depending on the situation. Sorry to see him leave us.

  6. I am so sadden to hear about Rocky. I am a big fan of his. I as a restaurant owner never really go to somebodies house for dinner but Rocky and Dar invited Sue and I and they were so gracious. I could no say no to Rocky and I am glad I didn’t.. RIP in Rocky.

  7. Rocky and his family will always have a special place in my heart. I was only 17 years old (1989) when I came to the US and they took me in for á whole year while I attended a school year at Grand Rapids High School. Thank you and may you rest i peace ❤️

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