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Rod Quies, ‘Santa’ for ‘Christmas in the Country’ in Red Oak passes away

Rod Quies played Santa for 20 years at the yearly celebration in Red Oak, Illinois.
Rod Quies played Santa for 20 years at the yearly celebration in Red Oak, Illinois.(Ethan Rosuck)
Published: Nov. 21, 2020 at 1:44 PM CST
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RED OAK, Ill. (WIFR) - A popular Christmas attraction for nearly two decades has lost a valued member of its family. One of the founders, known for playing Santa Claus at the “Christmas in the Country” celebration, Rod Quies passed away on Saturday morning, according to his family.

It saddens my heart to say at 1105 am we have lost our local Santa to heaven. We will be posting an obituary in the...

Posted by Santa's Christmas in the country on Saturday, November 21, 2020

His family says Quies was transferred to St. Mary’s in Madison on Friday, saying he had been fighting kidney issues on top of bilateral pneumonia, according to an update on their Facebook page back on November 13. Quies also was fighting lung cancer and passed away peacefully with no pain. Because of that, the family said they were canceling ‘Christmas in the Country’ for 2020.

This comes a year after the celebration resumed in 2019 for their 20th anniversary, after previously taking time off due to Rod Quies daughter, Paula passing away from cancer and his wife battling cancer at the time.

Rod Quies played Santa Claus and was famous for having children and families come back every...
Rod Quies played Santa Claus and was famous for having children and families come back every year for the tradition.(Steve Pirrello)

His family says that Rod Quies wife, ‘granny’ according to grandson Steve Pirrello is home and doing well. However due to COVID-19 restrictions, the family wasn’t able to speak with Rod or see him earlier this week.

The family asks for privacy at this time and says an obituary will soon be published and a celebration of life will follow when time allows.

This is a developing story.

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