Roger Morrison 72, passed away in his home on March 21, 2019. He and Evangeline (Hernandez) shared 51 years of marriage.
Born in Arnold, Nebraska to Eloise Mae (Blixt) and Ralph Preston Morrison. He was the youngest of four children. His arrival being most celebrated by his sister Dorothy, who would ask each year for a baby doll for Christmas. Rogie (as she lovingly called him) arrived when she was ten, to her utter delight!
Roger grew up in the quiet town of Callaway, Nebraska with his best friend Robert Edgington. The two of them were very much the Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn duo. Spending time building things, exploring, fishing, hunting, and occasionally causing mischief and mayhem. Whenever possible they would include cousin Robert Morrison in their escapades.
Being very intelligent and personable, a new company, Hewlett Packard (HP), saw potential and hired Roger out of Mildford Technical School, where he graduated second in his class. Roger moved to Loveland, Colorado where he began his career with HP and met the love of his life, Evangeline (Bengie) Hernandez. They both worked in different areas of HP. Roger would show up wherever Bengie was, most often at her mother’s Mexican Restaurant. Since he chose to always order hamburgers, Sara (Bengie’s mom), found it miraculous that he would always show up at the restaurant when Bengie's car was parked there. She quickly put together the “coincidence” of his visits. Roger enlisted in the United States Army and left for training. On a short weekend he returned to Loveland and proposed. Roger and Bengie were married on July 1, 1967. She followed Roger to Germany where they had their first child, Charmayne.
Roger continued his education and quickly obtained a high security clearance. Because of his conduct and character, he was approached to become part of the Presidential Guard. Having a new wife and baby he decided to forgo this prestigious honor and instead sought a simpler life. After being honorably discharged from the Army, Roger returned to his job with HP in Loveland, where he worked until he retired at the age of 55, as an Engineering Tech.
Shortly after returning to Loveland, Michael Ralph and Sarah Mae were born. In 1978, the family moved to Berthoud where their children could have more opportunities. In 1994, Sareena Michelle joined the family. Roger loved his family and spending time with them. His children and grandchildren: Evangelyne, Shane Roger, Jesse, Tea Mae, Hailey, Shelby, Jacob, Emberley and great-grandchildren Athena Alexandria and Sylas James; and siblings (and their families): Marge Maller, Dave Sheets, and Dorothy Lareau. The family has many fond memories of August birthday weekends, fishing and camping trips, train rides, barbecues, parties, movies, and family get-togethers. If you ask his children or grandchildren, they will tell you, “He was the best dad/grandpa we could have ever asked for!!”
Roger enjoyed reading and liked to travel. He spent one summer traveling the Lewis and Clark Trail with daughter Sareena, and brother-in-law Mando. In the Dakotas they met a tribe of Lakota that opened their camp and hearts to them. Sareena was invited to participate in a traditional ceremonial dance and given the costume she danced in. Roger stayed in contact with the tribe for quite some time. Providing simple things like coffee, food staples, and even a sewing mannequin so they could make their beautiful ceremonial costumes. Wherever Roger saw a need that he could fill he chose to fill it. It mattered not if it was monetary, his time, or just his calming presence. Roger knew no strangers.
Roger delighted in fixing things. He would help fix equipment on his sister Dorothy’s farm, equipment at the family’s restaurants, lights, cars, etc. People knew they could call Roger and he would make the time to come and fix whatever it was. He truly enjoyed helping others. When daughter Sarah got cancer, it bothered him that he couldn’t fix it. He went to chemo with her once, where he was extremely uncomfortable and kept offering her food. She could see how helpless the situation made him feel and how he desperately wanted to be anywhere but there. She finally agreed to a sandwich. When he came back with it, she ate every bite. Fighting to keep it down because she could see how much he wanted to do something to help her. His desire to help his family was often his greatest gift of love.
Not long ago he took Hailey to the airport. She missed her flight and had to wait eight hours for the next one. Roger used it as a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time with his granddaughter. The Fernett’s stopped at A&W to grab food before going to the house. They asked the waitress for Tea’s help. The girl hollered, “Tea they need help with grandpa’s order!” Another girl walked up to the counter and said, “We all love grandpa!” Roger had that affect on people.
Roger grew up in a devout Christian home and had been on the outs with God since the passing of his mother in 1977. He chose to drink, ride motorcycles, and avoid God. Roger enjoyed mechanical things and liked to not just ride Harleys, he built his from the frame up. He soon had the fastest Harley in Loveland. One Father’s Day he took a curve too fast on his bike and woke up in a ditch full of gasoline. He didn’t want to stop drinking, but decided he should stop riding motorcycles. He still helped others to build their dream bikes. His family regularly attended church and the church placed a huge “EXPERIENCE JESUS” sign on the road he traveled daily to work. One evening after a few drinks, he decided it best to do the community a favor and remove the sign. It took him a couple hours but he managed to saw through the sign’s support. That weekend Pastor John Stocker told the congregation that whoever cut down the sign had just given us a point of contact. Not long after Roger found himself in orange pajamas and at a place where the Lord could do his best work. Roger quit drinking and began to attend Resurrection Fellowship. Shortly after he scheduled a meeting with the Pastor and confessed his crime. Pastor John just replied, “Bless your heart Roger,” laughed and welcomed him with open arms. Roger gained the title “Sign Assassin” for a brief time. Roger’s testimony was given for the first time on Biker’s Sunday and then on the 700 club. Many lives were touched and changed by the story of God’s overwhelming, never ending, love, mercy, and grace. The love that chases us down and fights until we’re found. Roger was a Liver Cancer survivor of three years. The Lord has been a constant source of blessing in the lives of the Morrison family.
We will celebrate Roger’s life on Wednesday, March 27 at 11:00 am, at the Viegut Funeral Home (1616 N, Lincoln Ave., Loveland, CO 80538.) Reception from 12-4pm, at the VFW (305 N. Cleveland Ave., Loveland, CO 80537.)