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Roger Neil “Papa” Jaeger
January 7, 1938 – November 2, 2020
Student of Life on a Road Less Traveled
In typical “under the radar” form, Roger quietly stepped out on November 2, 2020, at the age of 82. Make no mistake, his trademark intelligence, wit, natty dressing, intolerance, and fierce loyalties will not be forgotten. And how can anyone ever forget the endless “one-liners”? “Do it right, or do it twice!”
Affectionately known as “Papa” by his family, he was an educator by profession and a student of life. Roger quietly had an original Apple computer in the ‘80s and was technologically savvy throughout his lifetime. He was a voracious reader, and explorer at heart. He was always looking to deepen his understanding, broaden his experiences, and grow as a person - whether evolving into a master woodworker, becoming an exquisite cook, broadening his faith, or a hip iPhone wizard. He put an endless value on self-improvement and education.
Roger had many loves, but without any doubt his primary love, was his family. He loved his wife of 60 years, Carmen, who preceded him in death in June 2020. This relationship of 2 fiercely independent individual’s with high standards, was misunderstood by most. But those who really knew them both understood they were “thick as thieves”. And those closest were true beneficiaries of this powerhouse relationship.
He also dearly loved his children and grandchildren. Famously direct, intolerant of excuses, a strong work ethic, and keen sense of wisely saving and investing money lives fondly on with his daughters and grandchildren. We all learned early on that: “Everyone needs to have a weasel sack”. And “In life, you need to know how-to pick-up rocks.”
He took extreme pride in his grandchildren, Sydney Olsen (21), Bert Olsen (19), and Samantha Jaeger (19). Adventures with Papa included secret car rides for a piece of pie, making bird houses, smores around the firepit, history lessons, lectures on the importance of an education, Saturday night bath night in the lake, baking bread and making soups, and sticking out tongues…. just a few of many fond times. The secret codes, nicknames, and stories these kids have with Papa will only be known by them. “Nupid is for Stupid and Bushel Basket Butts.”
Adventure was core to Roger, including a spectrum of life experiences. Whether a ride up the Fox River in a fishing boat or the cabin on Island Lake, sitting next to Joe Montana at a Notre Dame game, meeting a friend in Vegas, bouncing around New York City and Mexico, or skipping throughout Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. He was a student of life and collector of experiences.
Roger was renowned for his lack of patience, not holding back his thoughts, and knack for telling it like it is. He always told you the truth, even if it wasn’t what you wanted to hear. He was authentic, generous to a fault, yet soft at heart, fiercely loyal to his family and friends, and yet he sugar-coated absolutely nothing. To quote Winston Churchill: “He was a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside of an enigma”.
In his last year or so, Roger’s short-term memory loss was getting the best of him. On October 20th he tested positive for COVID. It was a fast turning point in the decline of his health. His devout feistiness and stubbornness had served him well throughout his life. And even in his waning days, he was a model of strong will and sheer determination right up until the end of his journey here on earth. And just as he wished, as he passed, he was in his home surrounded by his entire family -- both in which he held so much pride. He will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by friends and family.
At a future date, yet to be determined, we will be honoring the many accomplishments and contributions of this remarkable individual; The Quiet Life -Long Learner - Roger Jaeger.
“My beloved Carmen, Kennon, Damon, and Sigrid. My beloved grandchildren Sydney, Bert, and Samantha. My beloved friends. Knowing you and loving each of you was the success story of my life. We will meet again, joyfully, on the other side. I will have a cup of coffee ready that will put hair on your chest! We are still very much together, just on different schedules. You will likely see me sitting to the left of God, because Carmen already took the right side. We will be debating with smiles, on how to rule the kingdom. Produce! --Rog.”
If you wish please submit online condolences to muellerfh.net.