Roger Lamar Goertz of San Angelo passed away June 17, 2016, at Shannon Hospital. |
Roger was born to Albert Friezon Goertz and Dorothy Nell Martin on April 24, 1938, in Freer, Texas.
He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Jean Humphrey Goertz, and sisters Gigette Newbrough Gilles and Tina Hall.
He is survived by sisters-in-law Jane Booth and Dana Rickett, numerous nieces and nephews, and several cousins.
Roger was born severely club-footed, and at birth his doctor recommended amputation of both of his feet. Thankfully, his parents sought a second opinion at Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas. They opted to attempt to surgically correct his feet. Roger underwent numerous operations, and, although he didn't have "perfect" feet, through his will, determination and positive attitude, his feet were able to take him places that many people thought were impossible!
Roger was raised in Texon, Texas, and in high school he was voted Class Favorite, and was the kicker for the football team. In the summers, he served as a lifeguard and worked in the oilfield. He graduated from Reagan County High School in 1957. He attended San Angelo College his first year, and transferred to Southwest Texas State, graduating with a B.A. in history and sociology. He later attended Sul Ross State University, and received his master's degree in education and attained a Professional Counselor certificate.
He began his teaching and coaching career in Knippa, Texas. From there he moved to Sanderson, and then to Big Spring, where he was able to coach under "Spike" Dykes. Roger said he truly learned what it meant to be a coach under Coach Dykes. After seven years in Big Spring, he moved to Plainview, where he worked as a Special Education Counselor. After leaving Plainview, Roger worked at the Region 15 Service Center in San Angelo to implement a pilot program that offered vocational counseling to small rural schools. Later Roger served as a vocational counselor for Concho County Schools, and then returned to Big Spring to serve as vocational counselor until his retirement.
While living in San Angelo, Roger met his wife Jean. Roger always said she was one of the best things that ever happened to him. They were married in 1980 and enjoyed 24 years of marriage until her death in 2004. During their marriage they traveled extensively and made many friends.
Roger was known for his love of history, especially of west Texas forts, Texon, and Reagan County Football. He was always researching information on all of these topics. He was a member of the Permian Basin Historical Society, and his presentation on Texon won "Best Presentation" in 2007. Tumbleweed Smith even wrote an article about Roger's Texon presentation.
Roger was the eternal optimist. In fact, he served as president of Big Spring's Optimist Club for five years. Everyone that met or knew Roger described him as "one of the nicest people that they have ever met". His former classmates at San Angelo College wrote a resolution to him in 2007 that expressed their love, respect, and esteem for him that he treasured until his death. He also had a book bound by his friends that Roger wrote about his life, and had numerous letters included by his friends. Roger was never at a loss for friends. From his childhood to his death he was surrounded by an army of devoted friends that truly thought he was the best!
Many thanks go out to his friends, family, and a special insurance agent that helped him these last few years. Gary Booth, John Webb, and Jane Booth were always there for him. Roger had so many amazing friends that they were too numerous to mention, but the one that Roger always spoke of like a brother and admired so much was James Whitehead. Thank the Lord for special friends like him!
We will all miss Roger, but the one thing we can all remember about him and hopefully apply to our own life is that "being nice matters!" Thank you Roger, for being such a caring and thoughtful son, brother, uncle husband and friend to all of the people in your life.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 25, 2016, at Sierra Vista Methodist Church.
Family and friends can sign the online register book for Roger at wwww.harper-funeralhome.com
Published in Big Spring Herald on June 23, 2016