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Royce F. “Stroto” VerStraete, 84, of Atkinson, passed away on Friday, June 29, 2018, at Hammond Henry Hospital Long Term Care in Geneseo. Funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 3rd, at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Atkinson, IL. Reverend S. Stephen Engelbrecht will celebrate. Burial will follow at St. Anthony Catholic Cemetery, where military honors will be accorded by the Atkinson American Legion. Visitation will be Monday, July 2nd, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at Vandemore Funeral Home & Crematory, Atkinson Chapel, where the Rosary will be recited at 3:30 p.m.  Memorials may be left to Royce VerStraete Memorial Fund, to be distributed amongst several local organizations.

Royce was born on October 12, 1933, the son of Francis and Emma (Autheunis) VerStraete, in Atkinson. He graduated from Atkinson High School with the class of 1952. Stroto married Joann J. “Joie” DeNeve on May 29, 1954, in Atkinson. Joie preceded him in death in 2015. Stroto owned and operated VerStraete’s Garage for 40 years. After his retirement, his son Frank took over the family business and is still operating. Stroto is a proud veteran of the United States Navy and served his country during the Korean War. He was a member of the Atkinson American Legion and former fire-fighter on the Atkinson Fire Department. Stroto shared a love for collecting antiques with his wife Joie, and together, they established “Stroto’s Antiques”. They loved traveling and looking for antiques to add to their collection. Stroto was also an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed deer hunting.

Those left to cherish his memory include his son, Frank (Lisa) VerStraete, Atkinson, and daughters, Lori (Jim) Hamer, Atkinson, Lisa (Dan) DeReu, Atkinson, and Beth (Kale) Causemaker, Geneseo. Royce is also survived by his grandchildren, Kristen, Kyle, Blake, Denelle, Tyler, Dustin, Holly, Kate, Nick, Kala, Karmen, Kidd, and Kamber, and 13 great-grandchildren.

Royce was preceded in death by his parents, Francis and Emma, and his wife, Joann.

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