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Philip "Phil" Roers

March 3, 1924 ~ September 28, 2018 (age 94)


Philip Joseph Roers was born in Brandon Township on March 3, 1924 to Hubert and Emma (Kuhn) Roers.  He was baptized and confirmed at Seven Dolors Catholic Church in Millerville.  He attended country school for 8 years and graduated from Brandon High School in 1942.

Philip “Phil” was drafted into the US Navy in June 1944.  He served on the ship USS Dane APA-238 transporting troops home from the war.  He was honorably discharged in June 1946.  He then returned home to help his father on the family farm in Brandon Township. 

On June 7, 1949, Phil married Odilia “Odie” Bitzan in Millerville.  They purchased a farm in Leaf Valley township and lived and farmed there for 38 years, raising 10 children on that farm.  Phil was a hardworking and successful dairy farmer growing wheat, oats, corn and alfalfa with the help of his Farmall M and H tractors.  He was also very proud of his handsome herd of Holstein cows.  Both his own farm and his boyhood farm have remained in the family with a son now living on each.

Phil was a baseball fan and enjoyed watching local ballgames, listening to the TWINS, and playing ball with his children when they were young.  After evening milking was done he would often join in a game with the kids as full-time pitcher.  He was also quite a storyteller and would hold his children on his lap and ad lib a “once upon a time” story.  Scary stories were the best ones.

Phil was active in many organizations serving on the boards of the Farmers Elevator in Garfield, Millerville Creamery Assn, Leaf Valley Township, and Gardonville Telephone.  He was a charter member of the Millerville American Legion and recently received his 70-year certificate of continuous membership.  He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus for 75 years.    

Phil and Odie retired from the farm in 1987 and moved to Alexandria.  He then continued to help with the fieldwork on the farm for many years and always enjoyed driving tractor.  In their retirement years they took many bus trips across the U.S. with Utopia tours and even went to Alaska.  Card playing and casino trips with friends and relatives were other favorite activities as well as listening to old time music.  Odie preceded him in death on March 10, 2014.

Phil died on September 28, 2018, at St. Cloud Hospital at age 94.  He is survived by 7 children: Catherine (Alan) Hansen, Gregory (Mary) Roers, Lorean (Dan) Crandall, Kevin (Ellen) Roers, Carol (George) Hammond, Joyce (Doug) Roden, David (Jennifer) Roers, 25 grandchildren, and 39 great grandchildren.  Also surviving him are son-in-law, Lyle Femrite, 2 brothers, Wally (Evelyn) Roers and Dennis (Irma) Roers, 1 sister, Alice Boesen, as well as numerous in-laws and nieces and nephews.  In addition to his wife, Phil was preceded in death by his parents and his children, Ronald Roers in 1967, Susan Roers Ranney in 1984, and Barbara Roers Femrite in 1997, a baby grandson, Ryan Hammond, brother, Ralph Roers, and sisters, Irene Daas, Marcine Pischke-Kraemer, and Genevieve Nagorski.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, October 5, 2018, 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.  Burial will be at Our Lady of Seven Dolors Catholic Cemetery.  Visitation will be held on Thursday, October 4, 2018, 5:00 – 8:00 PM at the Anderson Funeral Home with a Parish Prayer Service at 7:30 PM and a Knights of Columbus Rosary to follow.  Visitation will continue on Friday, October 5th from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary’s.

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