William J. "Coach" Zeman, 67, of Roanoke, IL, passed away at 10:13 am on Thursday, February 11, 2021 at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria.
He was born January 9, 1954 in Oak Lawn, IL to Frank and Joan Cuchna Zeman. He married the love of his life, Melinda Zeman on April 2, 1977 in Winfield, IL. She survives.
Also surviving are his two daughters, Jayme (Dan) Magnuson of Roanoke; Heather (Curt) Schweigert of Tremont; and seven grandchildren, Brock and Reese Magnuson; and Emma, Luke, Ryan, Jack, and Rhet Schweigert.
He was preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Denise Zeman.
Coach started his teaching career at Roanoke-Benson High School during the 1976-77 school year and never left. During that tenure with R-B he taught classes the majority of time and ended his academic career as Dean of Students at R-B Junior High School retiring in 2013.
Although known as the Rocket's varsity baseball coach from 1979 until his coaching retirement in 2014, he also coached cross country, girls softball, jv and varsity girls basketball, jv and varsity boys basketball and jr. high baseball.
Coach had many successful teams and seasons with many regional and sectional titles, trips to the state tournament and too many other accomplishments to list. A few accolades and inductions include the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1994; Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame of 2015; Bloomington Normal Officials Hall of Fame in 2014; and his undefeated 1995 state baseball championship.
Coach had a love for his players and always called his players his "sons" that he never had. His dedication to his players and the joy and pride he had to watch them succeed off the field is what truly defined him as a leader. That leadership and respect was rewarded in 2019 when the Roanoke-Benson High School baseball diamond was officially named in his honor.
When he wasn't coaching, Coach loved to fish, watch his beloved Cubs and NASCAR. He especially enjoyed spending time with family, his precious grandkids and any time away vacationing at the cabin in Arkansas. He truly will be missed.
A Celebration of Life Gathering will be held on Saturday, June 26, 2021 from 1-6 p.m. at the Bill Zeman Field at Roanoke-Benson High School. The entire community is invited to attend to share stories and mingle with former players, coaches, umpires, friends and family. Food and drinks will be provided.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Bill Zeman Scholarship Fund % the Roanoke - Benson Education Foundation at Morton Community Bank. Online condolences and tributes may be sent to the family at knappjohnsonharris.com.