Roger Williams Lotchin, 88, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina passed away on Tuesday, August 8, 2023. He will be buried with his wife Phyllis Jo Morris Lotchin (1936 – 2022) in Glenwood Cemetery in Shelbyville, Illinois on Monday, August 21 at 1 PM.
Roger was born on January 31, 1935 to Theodore and Lucille Williams Lotchin. He married Phyllis Jo Morris on June 1, 1958. He is survived by one son, Ted (Sarah) Lotchin, and three grandchildren, Michael, Matthew, and McKenna. Roger was predeceased by his parents and one granddaughter, Margaret Lotchin.
Roger (“Lotch” to his friends) was known for his academic, athletic, and professional achievements. He graduated from Shelbyville High School in 1953. He then attended Millikin University, were he majored in History, was a member of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, and met his wife Phyllis (a Tri-Delta). He and Phyllis taught one year at Chatham Glenwood High School before pursuing his graduate education at the University of Chicago. Roger received his Ph.D. in Western History from the University of Chicago in 1969.
Roger taught American History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for almost 50 years, with a particular focus on American urban history and the history of the American West. His writing centered on the history of nineteenth- and twentieth-century California cities, more recently exploring the American city in the Gilded Age, the political empowerment in American cities of women and Hispanics, and the impact of World War II on California cities. He was an active and passionate faculty advisor and mentor for generations of graduate students and aspiring historians.
Roger played every sport possible while growing up in Shelbyville, but truly excelled in basketball. He finished his career for the Shelbyville Rams with over 1,100 career points and was inducted into the Hall of Fame. At Millikin, he became the 3rd all-time leading rebounder with 867 and the 6th all-time leading scorer with 1,553 points. He still holds the Big Blue records for the most rebounds in a single game (39) and most rebounds in a single season (560). He was inducted into the Millikin University Hall of Fame in 1974 and was subsequently inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1994.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, please consider making a donation in memory of Roger to Millikin University’s Annual Scholarship fund. Donations can be made online at www.millikin.edu/give or sent to the following address: Millikin University Alumni & Development Office, 1184 W. Main St., Decatur, Illinois 62522. Please note that the donation is made in memory of Roger Lotchin.
The family wishes to extend their gratitude to all of the talented and compassionate team members at Aegis Home Care, Azalea Estates, Arosa, Parkview Health, andUNC Health Care who took such excellent care of Rogerover the past few years.