Roger Van Hemelryk, a meat industry veteran who founded Maplewood Meats in his home of Green Bay, died on August 9, 2020. He was 79 years old.

Roger J. Van Hemelryk was born on June 13, 1941, in Green Bay, Wis. He worked at Barbeau Manufacturing for a short time before following his interest in the meat industry at Armour & Co. When the facility closed in 1980, he decided to open his own meat business.

Maplewood Packing Inc., popularly known as Maplewood Meats, was founded by Roger and Patricia Van Hemelryk in 1983. Maplewood Meats began by offering custom fabrication processing of beef and pork.  With the aid of Roger’s daughter Lisa, son Dave and his wife Vicki the company added a retail case to offer fresh cuts to walk-in customers.

“Roger genuinely appreciated the people who made up his staff and always felt they were more like family than employees,” stated his obituary. “Roger cherished the relationships he developed over the years with customers, staff, and association members. He understood life is about the journey, and whether it is in our personal lives, relationships or careers, we cannot do it alone.”

Roger and Patricia married on August 17, 1963. They were married for 56 years, and he remained by her side through her diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. They were inducted into the Wisconsin Meat Industry Hall of Fame in 2015.

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Source: Blaney Funeral Home, Maplewood Meats