Former Oil-Dri Executive V.R. Swede Roskam Passes Away

V.R. "Swede" Roskam
V.R. “Swede” Roskam

Former Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) President V.R. “Swede” Roskam died unexpectedly in Wheaton, IL, on March 13, 2015 at the age of 85.

Swede was born on October 16, 1929 in Iowa Falls, IA, to Albert Ollie Roskam and Maureen Kathleen Varnum. He graduated from West Waterloo High School in Waterloo, IA, in 1947 and from Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, MO, in 1949. He graduated from Knox College in Galesburg, IL, in 1951 and received a regular commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. He served as a Company Commander in the Korean War.

On July 26, 1952 he married the love of his life, Martha Lou Jacobsen in Oak Park, IL, and were married for 62 years. Together they had five children. Swede enjoyed a career in sales with several companies before joining the Oil-Dri Corporation of America where he worked for 45 years. He retired in 2014 as Vice President of Sales.

Swede also served as President of MACA from 1982-1983. He was the first allied industry member to be elected president and served during MACA’s 25th anniversary year. Swede continued to be active in MACA, including being the unofficial photographer at meetings and serving as editor of MACA’s newsletter for a few years.

“Swede was one of those active members who’s enthusiasm was contagious,” said Bonnie McCarvel, Executive Director at MACA.  “He was so proud and excited to be a part of MACA and wanted to do whatever he could do to help the industry. He helped to lay the groundwork which MACA continues to build upon.”

Swede also encouraged his colleague, Terry Kippley, while at Oil Dri, to be active in MACA. Kippley went on to become MACA President in 1999-2000.

“Swede was an original. He had such passion,” said Kippley, who is now Senior Vice-President at Aceto Corp. “He was always on me to be a good father and role model to my family. He always loved to say that life was about choices, and the only thing that matters in the end is what one does for the Lord.”

Swede founded Educational Assistance Ltd., a nonprofit scholarship program that enabled 10,000 students to attend college. In 1986, he and his wife Martha received the Knox College Alumni Achievement Award. In 1988 they received the President’s Volunteer Action Award from President Reagan, the nation’s highest honor for volunteer service.

In 2001, while traveling in Viet Nam, Swede and Martha purchased several U.S. military dog tags that were being sold as souvenirs. Upon their return to the U.S., they hired a private investigator to discover the whereabouts of the American military personnel or their next of kin. They spent several years returning these tags to their rightful owners.

He was an active member of the Glen Ellyn Evangelical Covenant Church in Glen Ellyn, IL. He is survived by his wife Martha Roskam (nee Jacobsen), Stephen Andrew Roskam (Chandler), Jonathan Richard Roskam (Phyllis), Sarah Jayne Roskam, Peter James Roskam (Elizabeth) and Maribeth Roskam Coote (Jonathan) and his grandchildren Jacob Roskam, Mica Roskam, Hilary Roskam, Jonathan Roskam, Lily Roskam, Jayne Averitt, Bryan Simpson (Katie), Hope Simpson, Gracey Roskam, Frances Roskam, Stephen Roskam II, Alec Roskam, Ian Coote, Peter Coote, Jonathan Coote, Jr., and Philip Coote. He is also survived by his sister Vee Anne Roskam Angilley and step sister Delores Stanley Zimmer. He was predeceased by his grandson James Schoales Roskam.

The Visitation is on Friday, March 20 at Hultgren Funeral Home, 304 N. Main St. in Wheaton, IL from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The Funeral service is on Saturday, March 21 at College Church, 332 E. Seminary Avenue in Wheaton, IL at 2:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers memorial gifts may be sent to support Bible translation as follows:

Payable to Wycliffe Associates, P.O. Box 620368, Orlando, FL 32862

Please include on the check memo: Scott Crickmore/Ministry Account M10445/Roskam Memorial

For more information, visit the Hultgren Funeral Home and Cremation Services Website.


Leave a Reply



As Agchem Complexity Grows, Specialists Take Off Some of the Heat

Chemical companies increasingly are using specialist suppliers to outsource the process development and production of complex new molecules.

Africa/Middle East

Bayer Closes Monsanto Acquisition

Bayer successfully completed the acquisition of Monsanto on Thursday. Shares in the U.S. company will no longer be traded on

Flag of China

Nearly 30,000 Companies Fined in Chinese Environmental Inspections

According to CCM, fines totaled $224.60 million. Over 18,000 individuals were fined.

day 2 trade summit

PFMAI’s Dave: Indian Bill Is ‘Total Surrender’ to Multinationals

New legislation falls short and gives unfair advantage to importers and multinationals, Indian manufacturers say.

Africa/Middle East

Bayer Plans Closing of Monsanto Acquisition on June 7

Bayer plans to complete the acquisition of Monsanto on June 7, following the receipt of all required approvals from regulatory


Two HELM Agro Herbicides Approved in California

HELMET and HELMET SPC are HELM Agro US’ newest additions to the metolachlor herbicide portfolio.


U.S. Imports of Formulated Crop Protection Products

As a barometer of global crop protection product prices and demand, U.S.-based Fanwood Chemical analyzes U.S. formulated product import data.


China Plant Shutdowns Hurt Helm Results

The company said its Crop Protection business was faced with markets exhibiting weak growth momentum overall in 2017.


Monsanto Enters Collaboration to Fight Asian Soybean Rust

2Blades will deliver resistance genes in further collaboration with The Sainsbury Laboratory and the Universidade Federal de Viçosa.


FMC Names Mark Douglas President, Chief Operating Officer

FMC Corp. announced several changes to its executive leadership, effective June 1, 2018.


China Reports Significant Resistance Issues

China's National Agricultural Technology Extension Service Center (NATESC) reported that the main pests and diseases in food crops have developed significant resistance to the most commonly used pesticides.


Bayer: Disappointing Verdict Requires In-Depth Analysis

Bayer will assess the verdict’s consequences and potential legal options.


EU Court Backs Ban on Three Neonicotinoids

General Court of the European Union said it "confirms the validity of the restrictions introduced at EU level in 2013 clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid because of the risks those substances pose to bees."


Formulation Technology Matters with High-Activity Sulfonylurea Herbicides

Herbicide formulations and sprayer clean-out are top of mind for many farmers, applicators, and retailers because of issues with dicamba


Tight Supply of Chinese Glycine Pushes Up Glyphosate Prices

China's announcement that it will conduct further pollution inspections in 2018 and 2019 is constraining the supply of glycine, the main intermediate for glyphosate production, according to market intelligence firm CCM.


Bayer Unveils Executive Leadership Team for Crop Science

Liam Condon will lead division; Brett Begemann will become Head of Commercial Operations (Chief Operating Officer).


Monsanto Execs to Step Down After Bayer Deal Closes

Monsanto Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Hugh Grant announced his intent to leave Monsanto at the closing of the acquisition of Monsanto by Bayer AG.


FMC Quarterly Results Soar on DuPont Acquisition

FMC Corp. reported its Agricultural Solutions business posted first-quarter 2018 revenue of $1.1 billion, an increase of 109 percent year-over-year.


Bayer Crop Science Quarterly Sales Dip

Bayer reports major progress with Monsanto acquisition.

Latest News


Valagro Launches Fertilizer Line in China

Valagro, an Italian supplier of biostimulants and other specialty nutrients, said it launched its water-soluble fertilizers, Master Supreme, to the Chinese market.


As Agchem Complexity Grows, Specialists Take Off Some of the Heat

Chemical companies increasingly are using specialist suppliers to outsource the process development and production of complex new molecules.

Precision Ag

Indigo Touts ‘New Approach to Agricultural R&D’

Indigo Research Partners uses a network of more than 50 of the largest U.S. growers to gather over a trillion data points daily from sensors, drones, weather stations, and other technologies.


Scientists Introduce Simpler, Faster CRISPR

Gene editing just got easier, thanks to an international team of researchers.


FaunaSmart, BioScience Solutions Form Innovative Collaboration in Crop Protection

FaunaSmart and BioScience Solutions have announced a cooperation within strategic business development and innovation strategies in crop protection. Harry Teicher,