Roger W. "Pops" Fitzjarrald

11 entries
  • "My heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to my friend..."
  • "My sincere sympathy to your family. May the God of all..."
  • "Bonnie, so sorry for your loss. Lynn and I so enjoyed..."
  • "bonnie and familes, so very sorry for your loss. roger was..."
    - Tom Locher
  • "Oh, Bonnie...both Sevard and I were shocked and saddened to..."
    - Sevard and Sandra Wagenius
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Roger Fitzjarrald 88, passed away surrounded by his family Monday June 20th, 2016, at Bartlett Memorial Hospital in Juneau, Alaska.
Roger was born in 1928 in Breckenridge Texas to Victor and Margaret Fitzjarrald. He spent his young life in Texas. He served in the US Army from 1952 to 1954 at Ft. Riley, Kansas. He was a member of the first graduating class at Oklahoma State University, with a Bachelor's degree in Agriculture. He married Bonnie, the love of his life on June 3rd, 1956 in Tulsa Oklahoma.
He and Bonnie completed their family while living in Poplar, Montana where Roger began his 38 years of Federal service in 1959. In 1967, the adventurous couple drove their 4 young children, two dogs and a tabby cat, to Juneau in a Chevy Suburban along with a 12 ft travel trailer, up the old Alaska Highway. 2,500 un paved miles, 4 kids, 12 ft trailer plus pets... Just imagine!
Roger was proud to be a "nearly" life long Alaskan. He happily spent 49 of his years in Juneau where he completed his first career for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. After his retirement from the federal government, Roger stayed active as president and treasurer of the Juneau chapter of NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees). He went on to serve as president and treasurer for the NARFE State Federation for many years.
In the decades 1960 - 1980s, he worked a second job as a fisherman with his three sons on his fishing vessels, the Norma, the Bonnie Lynne and the Bonnie B.
Upon retirement from the BIA, he worked his second career on the Alaska Marine Highway. In his 70's, he was a busy man, in his off hours he drove school buses until he was 81. It was then, that he officially retired from the work force.
In his later years, he went back to his roots as a cowboy by helping with the Thunder Mountain 4H horse club. He and Bonnie could often be seen hanging around the corrals at Swampy Acres, watching their son and his family training with their horses. He even took riding lessons, though it was said, "He always rode like a cowboy!" Roger and Bonnie often accompanied the club to Horse shows in Canada, Fairbanks and Palmer.

Roger was a lifelong learner who inspired all around him to be just as enthusiastic about each new hobby. He could do anything, fix anything, build anything that he put his mind to. He was an avid lover of trains, and the history of the American west. He loved the great outdoors where he hunted and fished as much as possible. Roger was a young 87 when he bagged his last bull moose!
Roger was an active member of the Chapel by the Lake for 49 years, where he served in leadership as Elder, sang in the choir, pounded thousands of nails in the new buildings and was a man of influence to the generations below him. A dear friend spoke of him in this way. "I loved his voice (he had a wonderful tenor voice), his politeness, his helpful attitude, his dapper suits, his endearing humor and easy way. I loved that man's hair! He had great hair! He was a throwback to a much more genteel, civilized era and I was so happy to see him each week at church, all decked out and singing to beat the band. Lord what an amazing place this world would be if we had a few more Rogers around."

He is survived by Bonnie, his wife of 60 years, His children, Jeffrey and his wife Yvette of Prosser WA, Lauri Bryan and her husband Rick, of Halfway OR, Mark and his wife Ellie of North Douglas AK, Anita Fitzjarrald of Canyon City CO. Grandchildren, Kate and Tony Kanouse, Annie Fitzjarrald, Bonnie Lou Fitzjarrald, Andrea and Matthew Shields, Christine and David Crisman, Stephanie and Nick Wiarda, Lane and Katie Fitzjarrald, Ashley Fitzjarrald,
Amanda Fitzjarrald, Victor Patrick and Beth Fitzjarrald. Step Grandchildren Julie Beauvais and Tyler Baysinger. Great grand children, Ava Marie, Elise, Emma, Ezekiel, and Aurora. He is predeceased by his son Victor Lynn Fitzjarrald, His parents, and his sisters Dawn Hughes and Wanda Lee Maddox.

Memorial service will be held at the Chapel by the Lake on Saturday July 2, 2016 at 1PM.

Contributions in Roger's name can be made to: The Juneau - Douglas Shrine Club, PO Box 020865, Juneau AK 99802. All contributions will go toward Children's Medical needs. Or to the Chapel by the Lake. Attn: Trustees.
Published in The Juneau Empire from June 30 to July 29, 2016