Roger J. Guenette, age 74, of Gladstone, passed away unexpectedly Friday, July 21, 2023, at U.P. Health System – Marquette, surrounded by his family. The world has lost the most amazing and loving man, husband, dad, papa, brother, uncle, and friend.
Roger was born on February 16, 1949, in Escanaba, Mich., the son of Isadore and Millie (Bussineau) Guenette. Growing up, he worked on his family’s B&I Beef Ranch in Riverland, which was the largest cattle ranch in the U.P. at the time. Roger worked at Woolworths while attending Gladstone High School where he graduated in 1967. He was then employed at Harnischfeger Corporation for two years painting cranes.
Roger married his high school sweetheart, Linda Sebeck, on October 14, 1967, at All Saints Catholic Church in Gladstone. The couple shared 55 happy, loving years and raised two wonderful children, Tom and Tammy.
Roger worked as an accountant for Louisiana Pacific Corporation in various locations for 14 years. While working full time at LP, he earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting and business in 1979 from Northern Michigan University, graduating with honors. His family lived in Goodman, Wis., Escanaba, Mich., and Hayward, Wis. before moving to Antioch, Calif. in 1985 when Roger transferred to Fibreboard Corporation.
In 1989, Roger and his two partners established a printing plate business, MGM Graphics, Inc., in Lynnwood, Wash. His company manufactured printing plates for clients such as Ore-Ida, Boise Cascade, Sysco, and McDonalds. Roger was MGM Graphics’ chief financial officer overseeing offices and/or manufacturing plants in five locations across four states (Washington, Oregon, Utah, and Michigan). He enjoyed working with his wife, who was in charge of HR and payroll. He felt blessed to have his son and daughter each work with him for several years as well.
Roger and Linda took multiple cross-country trips on his Harley motorcycle, his Harley trike, in their motorhome, and by car.
In 2011, Roger and Linda moved the corporate office to Gladstone, Mich., and Roger retired in 2014 after selling the company. Roger was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church, enjoyed woodworking, carving, hunting camp, riding his Polaris side-by-side, camping, solving puzzles, and meeting for coffee with the guys. He was an amazing carpenter and mechanic and could fix or build anything.
In Washington, he took flying lessons and belonged to a carving club where he worked on carvings that earned blue ribbons and bests of show.
One of Roger’s most treasured memories was fulfilling his 25th wedding anniversary promise to his wife with a trip to Hawaii, where they rode horses, helicopters, and a submarine. They also went snorkeling, bike riding down the side of a volcano, fishing, and to luaus.
Roger loved spending time with his family and taught many skills to his kids and grandkids. Roger and Linda put both their children through college and lovingly welcomed Dana and Jim into the family as their daughter (in-law) and son (in-law), fulfilling Roger’s wish to have four children. He was proud that all five of his grandchildren are either attending or have graduated from college.
Roger leaves behind a legacy of love and laughter, strength and hard work, honesty and integrity, and kindness and caring. His grandchildren have embodied this legacy with all they have learned from his living example of how to be a good person and live a good life. Roger was always spreading smiles with a twinkle in his eye, gentle teasing, and contagious laughter. He was ever ready with a shoulder to lean on, a big bear hug, or a hand to hold. Roger was a man with a big heart. It had to be big to hold all the ones he loved… and all those who loved him.
Roger J. Guenette is survived by his wife, Linda Guenette of Gladstone; son, Tom (Dana) Guenette of Brentwood, Calif.; daughter, Tammy (Jim) Jursch of Gladstone; five grandchildren, Tyler Guenette (Brentwood, Calif.), Megan Jursch (East Lansing, Mich.), Ryan Guenette (Brentwood, Calif.), Kierra Jursch (Gladstone, Mich.), and Haley Guenette (Brentwood, Calif.); two brothers, Joe (Gwen) Guenette of Escanaba and Gary (Nicky) Guenette of Marinette; three sisters, Judy (Dale – deceased) DeGrave of Bark River, Annette (Don) Nelson of Riverland, and Amy Guenette of Bark River; one aunt, Noella Chouinard of Escanaba; along with nieces, nephews, cousins, and many good friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Isadore (Izzy) and Millie Guenette; his parents-in-law, Melvin and Therese Sebeck; and a number of aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Roger was as generous after his passing as he was throughout his life. His wish was for his body to be useful. Gift of Life handled the tissue donation process, and his gift will allow for transplants that will help 40 to 60 people. This would have made Roger very happy.
Visitation will be held from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, August 18, 2023, at Holy Family Catholic Church in Flat Rock. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 4 p.m. Friday, with Father Sebastian Chacko officiating. A luncheon will be served at the conclusion of the services in the church fellowship hall.