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Feeney-Hornak Keystone Mortuary

2126 East 71st Street, Indianapolis, IN

OBITUARY

Roger Albert LaForge Jr.

December 2, 1948March 2, 2020

Roger Albert LaForge, Jr., of Indianapolis, Indiana, passed away on March 2, 2020 at St. Vincent Hospice in Indianapolis at the age of 71, after battling pulmonary fibrosis for about a year.

Roger is survived by his wife, Jill Brown, his two sons, Jacob Anders LaForge and Timothy Hunter LaForge, his daughter-in-law, Emily LaForge, his grandson, Simon Francis LaForge, and his ex-wife, Meg Gano. He is predeceased by his father, Roger Albert LaForge, Sr. and his mother, Evelyn (Adkins) LaForge.

Roger was born in Indianapolis on December 2, 1948. He grew up in the Eagledale area of Indy, just north of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He attended Indianapolis Public Schools #61 and #90 and graduated from Northwest High School in 1967. In 1971 he graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana with a BA in Political Science and a certificate in Urban Development.

Roger was married to Meg Gano from 1970 to 1984 and they had two sons; Jacob Anders LaForge and Timothy Hunter LaForge, born in 1978 and 1982 respectively. Roger began his career at the National Labor Relations Board in 1971. He eventually became the Assistant Regional Director there and he retired on his 55th birthday in 2003.

Roger met his wife, Jill Brown, when she was hired at the NLRB in 1977. They worked together for 24 years. Their friendship gradually developed into a romance and they were married in 2000. After they retired, Roger and Jill tried living in Las Vegas for a year, returning to Indianapolis for the spring and summer. Roger enjoyed planning a route to and from Nevada that would allow for stops at National Parks and other scenic places along the way, including, for example, The Spam Museum in Austin, Minnesota, Cal’s Shade Western, a bar in Carlsbad, New Mexico, and the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. In 2004, they began to spend their winters in the Hallandale Beach/Hollywood area in Florida. The condo they rented in Florida was very close to the cruise ship port and they went on eight Caribbean cruises. They also cruised to Alaska and to Monaco for the 2011 Grand Prix. In the winter of 2014 to 2015, they found a new place to get away from the cold—Isle of Palms and Mt. Pleasant near Charleston, South Carolina.

At age 10, Roger got a “job” selling newspapers at the Indianapolis 500. He threw away the papers he was supposed to sell, and watched the race instead. Thus began a life-long love of Indycar racing, especially the 500. He only broke his streak of Indy 500’s when he and Jill went to the Monaco Grand Prix. Sadly, Roger missed the race last year, as his health took a turn for the worse that weekend.

Roger loved basketball. As a kid, he played at the Municipal Gardens in Indianapolis and as an adult, starting in 1971, he coached basketball there for 33 years. He also coached one winter at the local recreation center in Isle of Palms. As much as he loved basketball, his first love, sports-wise, was baseball, and specifically the Chicago Cubs. He was grateful that he lived to see them win the World Series. Roger was a valued member of the NLRB softball team and he played on other softball teams as well in his younger days. Roger also loved horseracing and handicapping horse races. He and Jill picked their spot in Florida because it was close to Gulfstream Racetrack.

Roger also loved collecting books, sports memorabilia, and other antiques. When he was still working, his job required quite a bit of traveling, and he would stop at antique stores throughout Indiana and northwestern Kentucky and add to his collection. In retirement, he continued to enjoy looking for “stuff” at the Swap Shop Flea Market (friends called it “The Schmutz”) in Florida and at Goodwill stores and flea markets in Indiana.

From 2007 to 2019 Roger volunteered by caring for patients at the inpatient hospice where he spent his last few days.

Roger was a really good cook and a great dancer. He spent quite a bit of time in bars, including, in no particular order, the Bamboo Beer Garden, the She Lounge, The Time-Out Lounge, The Recovery Room, The Elbow Room, Beachside Café, The Zoo Pub, The Bulldog Lounge, Pat Flynn’s, Connor’s Pub, and he loved to drink beer and talk to people.

Roger was a funny, intelligent, loving, and considerate man and a great friend.

Services

No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Roger Albert LaForge Jr.

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Bill Zehring

March 10, 2020

Occasionally comes along a fella,
full of grace and mirth,
easy to know and
of obvious worth.
One who makes a friend
where others fail to do,
leaving his mark
wherever he passes through.
Some say life’s a journey,
some say a stage,
whatever the case,
we have been made richer
by sharing with Roger
the same time and place.

Mary Jane Mitchell

March 8, 2020

National Labor Relations Board Region 25 baseball team, circa late 1970s:

Row 1: Ralph Tremain, Mike Fogerty, Wanda Sheetz Tidd, Wayne Svoboda, Dick Simon and Art Lanker

Row 2: John Watt, Rik Lineback, Roger LaForge, Claude Wolfe, Carl Pavelko, Larry Hoeg, Joe Milanovich and Pat Shaw

Mary Jane Mitchell

March 8, 2020

Roger on his 55th birthday and retirement party in 2003! Pictures with Rik Lineback on the left and Bob Chavarry on the right.

Mary Jane Mitchell

March 8, 2020

Roger was a friend and mentor to me during our years together at the NLRB. He taught me how to conduct elections and took me on the first one I ever observed. Somehow he prevented me from getting in trouble when I accepted a union representative's jacket when it was cold at the polling site (we're supposed to stay neutral and that definitely wasn't the right appearance!) We handled many investigations together - Roger had a way of making even the most tedious examinations fun!

Roger and Jill continued to have a presence at the NLRB even after they retired. This is a picture from the NLRB's 75th Anniversary in 2010.

Bill Dinnin

March 6, 2020

Dear Jill, Timmy and Jake,

It was a shock to hear of Roger's passing. I first met Roger at the Elbow Room in 1983 where I was a bartender. He became a friend of mine immediately and with every other employee at the Elbow Room also. Roger was a stand up loyal person and I am sad to hear this news.

Sincerely,

Bill Dinnin

Vanessa García

March 5, 2020

Our deepest sympathies to Jill and family. We will always cherish Roger’s contribution to our office in Puerto Rico at a time when many of us were brand new employees. He enjoyed his time in Puerto Rico and we will always remember him for “Mr. Mofongo” the restaurant.

Robert Johnson

March 4, 2020

It was 1974 and had only known Roger for less than a year, but bonded with him immediately. His personality and humor was magnetic and he showed his concern for me and building a friendship from day one. I was an iron worker at the time and was working on a steel structure in Crawfordsville, In., I fell 50' to the ground and was airlifted to Methodist near death. I laid there 4 days in a coma and finally when I woke Roger was right there to welcome me back, I found out later from the nurses he was there 2 or 3 times a day talking to me and encouraging me to live. I always from that day forward thought of Rog as my Big Brother and loved him dearly. My heart is broken, but I know we'll meet again, until then Rog, Dick, John, Larry, Jake and Brother Ron keep the fire burning.

Terri Johnson

March 4, 2020

I first knew of Roger back in 1968, he was a upperclassmen at Northwest High school, I was a freshman. Really didn't become friends until later in the 70's . We mostly saw each other at the 500 race or parade . You could always count on a good time when Roger was around. As years went by Roger became a more prominent fixture in the life of my husband and children. I will truly miss his smiling and yet sometimes grumpy face. You always knew how you stood with Roger, he would tell it like it is, no sugar coating. Love you ❤️ Mr Laforge. Tell Mr Rice I love him too.

Mark Sutton

March 4, 2020

From the time I first met Roger at Carmel’s Old Town Antique Mall, he was always a delight to encounter. He had an unfailing sense of humor and gracious thoughtfulness that couldn’t help but endear him to all who were acquainted with him. It was a privilege and pleasure to have him as a friend; and I am saddened to know that he is gone.

Nicholas Davis

March 4, 2020

Roger and I met on the first day of quals in 1969. We became close friends and with the usual suspects (The Rice brothers, Hart, Ball Glove, Jake and countless others) we shared so many stories, escapades and borderline unlawful episodes. It has been stated that friends are the family you choose and that certainly applies to Roger! One of the smartest, wittiest and fun loving people I have been blessed to know. I can’t begin to share all the stories and good times we had together, but I know I shall miss my dear friend immensely! I love you, RL! Catch you, Rice, Delaney, Zoo Dog and Jake at the end of the backstretch and the start if the third turn later!❤️🏎🍺

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Seattle Mariners ballpark

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Roger in hospice with grandson, Simon Francis LaForge

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Roger and his lovely daughter-in-law