My father, Gary Roettger, passed away on Tuesday, April 14th in the evening. He was ready to meet his Heavenly father. He ran the race of life in such a way as to win the prize which I’m sure he’s now received. In His time working on staff at MSU, he touched many lives both students and faculty. He was much loved by all who knew him. The latter years of his life were tuff and painful as disease took its toll on his mind and body. Now, he’s at peace.
I loved my father and decided to share some moments that were my favorite with him. When I was 19 or 20, we took a motorcycle trip across country together. We could still laugh at the times we took refuge from rain underneath an overpass, and how completely soaked we were. And how after the rain let up a bit we went to Deny’s for a late meal after a long drive in wet cloths. The front half of our cloths and shoes were soaked. The back half dry. We received some looks but it was quite funny to me, in a way that everything seems so funny. I remember how we finally found a hotel room early in the am after repeated attempts to sleep at rest areas due to full hotel rooms. We slept only for a few hours but to this day, it was the most comfortable bed I’ve ever been in, and my dad agreed.
I remember sitting with my dad and grandfather as we listened to my grandfather’s World War 2 experiences. I remember how taken back we both were at what Grandpa went through. And the new found respect we both had for him for his strength and dedication to God. My grandfather was always a large figure in my life, a large influence and my father shared this.
I remember the long talks we would have as we shared experiences of this disease we both seemed to have shared. I remember how he helped me feel like I wasn’t alone. We would talk about the small things we go through from the confusion, to the problems thinking, to how hard it was to walk. He would listen even though he was in a great deal of pain. He would do his best to calm me when I was upset knowing how it would effect me if I couldn’t find some peace. I remember how much his eyes lit up when he saw his grand kids. I remember how much he seemed to love his family even when showing it was painful. And I remember how much he loved God. My father and grandfather are now both in heaven. Both are at peace and have freedom from the pain.
Rest in peace dad.
Gary Charles Roettger
May 18, 1950 – April 13, 2010