Roger Piper

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. -- Roger June Piper, 92, died at 12:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 16, 2004, at Crystal Oaks of Pinellas in Pinellas Park, Fla.

Born July 26, 1911, in Princeton June H. and Minnie R. Piper, he married Helen Gustafson Oct. 14, 1936, in Princeton. She died Aug. 16, 1990.

He was a seasonal resident of Pinellas County since 1947 until moving there in 1995.

He began his career as a farmer, was the inventor of the original power driven post hole Speedigger, established the R.J. Piper Manufacturing Co., home of Piper Speedigger, Speederbox and Stretchers. He built an auction barn and was an auctioneer, played sax in a band, converted a barn into a square dance hall and was a square dance caller. He also was a single engine pilot and built Piper Airport in Princeton. He retired from farming in the early 1970s.

He was a member of the First United Congregational Church in Princeton, had a life membership in the Bureau County Agricultural Board, life and honorary membership in Musicians' Protective Union, Local 431, and was a member of OTHERS Morning Star School in Pinellas Park. He also was a member and wagonmaster of the Airstream Wally Byam Caravan Club and Traveco Motorcade Club.

Survivors include one son, Jerry (Jan) of Princeton; three daughters, Kathryn Hays of Connecticut, and Letty Mongan and Connie (Ray) Marmaro of Pinellas Park, Fla.; 12 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and one niece and two nephews.

He also was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers and two sisters.

A celebration of life memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Feb. 1 in the Taylor Funeral Home, Pinellas Park, Fla. Burial will be at a later date in Oakland Cemetery, Princeton.

Visitation will be one-half hour before the services.

Memorials may be directed to OTHERS Morning Star School, 4661 80th Ave. N., Pinellas Park, FL 33781. (Bureau County Republican, Jan. 23, 2004, submitted by Janine Crandell)




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